Routine childhood vaccination rates are improving globally after a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic, but significant gaps remain, with millions of children still missing out on vaccines, particularly in low-income countries, according to the United Nations. While progress has been made, efforts to bridge the disparities in immunization coverage are necessary to protect children from preventable diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO), through its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has officially classified aspartame, a widely used artificial sweetener, as a potential carcinogen. This suggests that it could pose a risk for causing cancer in humans. However, the acceptable daily intake limit for aspartame remains at 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This standard has been reaffirmed by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a scientific advisory body jointly administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Despite positive progress in the crowdfunding for baby Lucas, another 24-year-old Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 2 patient is seeking community help to raise S$375,000 for treatment. The high cost of Risdiplam, an oral medication vital for stabilizing SMA progression, poses a significant obstacle for patients like Ms. Toh in accessing life-saving treatment.
Lucas, a 2-month old baby diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1, a rare genetic disorder that requires Zolgensma treatment priced at S$ 2.4 million, which is not subsidised by the government, nor is SMA treatment covered by the Rare Disease Fund. His parents, unable to afford it, appeal for crowdfunding. SMA progressively weakens muscles, robbing him of basic abilities. They seek the compassionate community’s support to give Lucas a fighting chance at life.
Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr. Janil Puthucheary, assures Members of Parliament that Polyclinics will allocate slots for walk-in patients with urgent medical needs and elderly patients with mobility issues as several MPs addressed the Minister with supplementary questions during the parliamentary session on Tuesday (4 July), highlighting feedback from residents, particularly seniors, who encountered challenges while attempting to book appointments online.