Guest-of-Honour and key KKH speakers at the 'First 1,000 Days - Maternal and Child Wellness' Temasek Shophouse Conversation. (From top left) Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health; Prof Alex Sia, CEO, KKH; Assoc Prof Helen Chen, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Psychological Medicine, KKH; Assoc Prof Lourdes Mary Daniel, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Child Development, KKH; Assoc Prof Chua Mei Chien, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, KKH; Dr Ho Yiling, Principal Psychologist, Psychosocial Trauma Support Services, KKH.


To strengthen support for maternal and child health, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) partnered with Temasek Foundation on the ‘First 1,000 Days – Maternal and Child Wellness’ Temasek Shophouse Conversation held in June 2021.

The first 1,000 days of life is a critical period which holds opportunities for optimising a child’s health, growth and development. A mother’s health and well-being is inextricably woven into early childhood and development, forming an inseparable pair relationship.

An international panel of experts – including representatives from KKH, Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First – discussed the key role of cross-sector collaboration in disrupting intergenerational transmission of trauma, and continuity of maternal and newborn health essential services amidst COVID-19.

The virtual event was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health, who commended new care models emerging from the KK Human Milk Bank and initiatives to boost community-enabled readiness for the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.

“KKH has sought to strengthen early childhood development in Singapore, working closely with partners on community-based integrated systems of care for vulnerable families,” says Professor Alex Sia, Chief Executive Officer, KKH.

“Family members too need to play a greater role in supporting the mother-and-child dyad. The key to optimising maternal and child wellness lies in an inclusive, whole-of-society approach to establishing a nurturing, responsive parent-child relationship.”