Programme to raise health literacy among seniors

Singapore's Health Promotion Board, HPB, has developed a new programme for senior citizens to raise their health literacy and empower them to make healthier choices. 

A pilot has been launched for residents over 50 in Chua Chu Kang constituency. 

The Back to School programme,  as it's called,  provides convenient access to dental and functional screening services as well as vaccination for influenza. 

It will be expanded to another two constituencies by March 2013. 

The programme was jointly implemented by HPB, Chua Chu Kang Grassroots Organisation and South View Primary School. 

It incorporates a series of classroom-based workshops as well as hands-on and experiential educational activities. 

The workshops cover relevant health topics to help residents and their care-givers understand the importance of getting the flu vaccination, improve their mental wellbeing and at the same time get their flu jabs. 

Participants can also pick up tips on home safety and how to maintain good oral health. 

At the programme's launch today Minister for Health and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, Gan Kim Yong said the project is innovative and meaningful. 

HPB's Chief Executive Officer Ang Hak Seng said the number of needy elderly taking their flu jabs is low and is a cause for concern. 

HPB says only one in 10 Singapore residents between the ages of 50 and 69 were vaccinated for flu last year.