Infectious Diseases in Singapore: Past, Present and Future | SG50 ID

This project, undertaken in conjunction with the SG50 celebrations of 2015, sought to document the the major infectious diseases that have afflicted Singapore and that have largely been contained over time. These threats affecting our country have changed with the times – beginning with malaria, cholera and plague during the earliest days of the Straits Settlements; and then the vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio and smallpox; and modern scourges including HIV, SARS, pandemic influenza, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten a return to the pre-antibiotic era.
Singapore has accomplished much in the arena of infectious diseases, but the lessons from our experiences and the personal stories from those who have worked to control infectious diseases are not well known. Besides historical research, interviews will be conducted with the pioneers (or their surviving family) who have substantially contributed to the control of infectious diseases, current experts and lay people to determine what lies ahead in our battle against infectious disease threats.
The collected stories and records will remind us how far the nation has progressed, how we have contributed to global and regional health and how hard-won is the protection from infectious diseases that we take for granted today. Our project will also highlight some of the unsung heroes of the country, and inspire us to continue to work together – just as our predecessors had in the past – against the infectious disease threats of the future.

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