Welcome Remarks by Ng Boon Heong, Chief Executive Officer, Temasek Foundation at Temasek Shophouse Conversations: First 1,000 Days – Maternal and Child Wellness on 07 June 2021

07 June 2021

Good morning Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health; distinguished guests, esteemed speakers, panellists, and to everyone joining us online - a warm welcome to our third Temasek Shophouse Conversation.

Our first two Conversations this year aimed to spur actions to build a more resilient society against a future pandemic, and to build a more sustainable world through climate action. Today, in partnership with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, we hope to engage parents, caregivers of children and the wider community to build a healthier future for our children and families.

Social resilience, uplifting vulnerable communities and nurturing the growth and development of our future generations will always be important focus areas for Temasek Foundation.

Together with our network of partners in Singapore and beyond, we pilot programmes with an aim to build up capabilities in the sector, push boundaries in innovations and to seek different pathways and models of care.

We believe that a strong and healthy family plays an important role in contributing to community and social resilience. We all want to be good parents, but parenting is no walk in the park. Parents who have dialled in today would attest to how daunting it may be to try to stay on top of things while avoiding potential pitfalls. Thankfully, there is no lack of people who are willing to offer advice to us.

Today, we are privileged to have leading experts and practitioners joining us. Through the conversations and insights, we hope to raise awareness on the criticality of the first one thousand days of a child’s life.

Research has shown that getting the first one thousand days right can have a lifelong impact not just on an individual’s future health, but also a far-reaching influence on the health and wellness of our society.

Our distinguished speakers and panellists will shed light on how parents and caregivers can optimise the developmental potential of our child during this period.

At Temasek Foundation, we have placed strong emphasis to enhance maternal and child wellness in the critical early years. For example, we collaborated with KK Hospital for the KIDS 0-3 Programme and we also piloted an Integrated Maternal and Child Wellness Hub at Punggol Polyclinic. The programmes embody an integrated model of care and service, informed by evidential studies which pointed out best approaches, touchpoints and interventions.

There is still so much more that can be done.

We hope the conversations will continue further from here and I would like to urge everyone to take part in the calls to action that will be launched at the end of today’s programme. This is the key distinction of every Temasek Shophouse Conversation, which is to convert concepts into opportunities, and to translate these discussions into meaningful actions.

Thank you again for joining us this morning. And more importantly, for coming together with us to take action on the topic.

It is now my pleasure to invite Minister Masagos Zulkifli to deliver his keynote speech.

Minister please.