• NNI holds its first large-scale public event in the heartlands to increase awareness of neurological conditions and how to prevent them.
  • It's part of efforts to extend care beyond the hospital to the community, and empower residents to better manage neurological conditions.
  • Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, is the Guest-of-Honour for the opening ceremony.

Talk to specialists about neurological diseases, work up a sweat with sports activities, and take part in free memory and Parkinson's Disease screenings. These are just some activities that residents can look forward to, right in their neighbourhoods. This is as the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) launches its inaugural public education campaign in the heartlands. It aims to provide residents with knowledge on neurological conditions, such as stroke, dementia and brain tumours, and how to prevent them. 

The first edition of NNI Brain Awareness 2017 is held at Our Tampines Hub. This is symbolic of NNI's commitment to serving the needs of residents across the island, including those living in the East. As Singapore's national centre of neuroscience excellence, the institute has been providing such clinical services to residents in the East for many years through its close collaboration with Changi General Hospital and the polyclinics. NNI will continue to grow such partnerships to meet the increasing needs of the community.

The two-day event takes place on 20 and 21 May, from 9am to 6pm. NNI is expecting around 2,000 visitors over the two days. The programme features highlights such as mass exercise sessions, informative booths and a health exhibition. The theme for this year's campaign is “Better Minds. Better Lives. Better Tomorrow.” The Guest-of-Honour for the opening ceremony on 20 May is Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.

Brain Awareness 2017 is organised by the National Neuroscience Institute, in partnership with People’s Association and Our Tampines Hub. Many of the programme activities are presented in conjunction with sponsors and participating partners.

Creating Awareness of Neurological Disorders

Said Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe, Medical Director of the National Neuroscience Institute: “Singapore’s rapidly ageing population will contribute to a significant rise in neurological diseases such as stroke and dementia. As the national centre for neuroscience care, we aim to provide optimal clinical services to help patients make a better recovery and improve their quality of life. 

A large part of neurological care actually takes place in the homes and communities.  When patients leave the hospital and are back in their communities, we need to enable and empower them to take charge and manage their conditions.  Public engagement and education therefore have an important role to play to extend our care beyond the hospital.  In the years ahead, we will continue to bring the Brain Awareness campaign to more neighbourhoods.” 

Dr Carol Tham, the Co-chairperson of Brain Awareness 2017 and a consultant in the Department of Neurology at the National Neuroscience Institute said: “Another important message that we hope to bring out via this campaign is that prevention is better than cure. We want to remind residents to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to keep their minds active. This can help prevent some neurological conditions, which are associated with death and disability.”

“It is also important for families to learn about the causes of neurological conditions, identify symptoms for early diagnosis and treatment, and recognise the need for specialised care. Some of the treatments are more effective if administered early. We hope patients can seek help while the treatment window remains open for a better recovery,” said Dr Wee Chee Keong, Co-chairperson of Brain Awareness 2017 and a consultant in the Department of Neurology at the National Neuroscience Institute.

NNI Brain Awareness 2017: Highlights

At Brain Awareness 2017, visitors can take part in free Memory and Parkinson screenings as well as attend talks by NNI specialists to find out more about neurological diseases. Through a health exhibition, they can also find out more about these conditions.

Visitors can drop by information booths to learn more about the field of neurology. They can chat with neurologists and neurosurgeons, and try their hands at using neurosurgery equipment. There will also be a variety of activities to keep the body and mind active, such as chess tournaments and table tennis games with stroke survivors.