NEIGHBOURHOOD HEALTH SERVICE FOR KIDS - A NOVEL PILOT PROJECT
National University Hospital
Background : Every child should have equal rights to opportunities regardless of socioeconomic background in a meritocratic society like Singapore. It is known that children from a low socioeconomic status have toxic stress response to their environment and are exposed to less opportunities in life. Neighbourhood Health Service Kids (NHK) is a local community project under NUS Medical Society, with Faculty of Social Work, that works with ECDA (Early Childhood Development Agency) to provide holistic care that includes paediatric screening, health education and social support to help develop the child in the long term. KidSTART, a programme under ECDA, aims to provide upstream support and create a conducive environment for vulnerable children to have a good start in life. NHK hopes to identify children and families who are in need of medical, social and educational intervention, and act as a bridge to reconnect them back to the respective systems in Singapore.
Material : This study is a prospective cohort study that will take place from June 2018 to June 2023 and focuses on children aged 0 to 6 years old from low income families in the rental block population in Singapore. Data will be collected via a questionnaire through the NHK iPad app and analysed using statistical analysis. Consent will be taken from parents or guardians by trained personnel for this study. Participation is voluntary. Confidentiality will be ensured by storing data in a password-protected database for which only the research team will have the access. We are in the process of obtaining ethics approval for this study.
Results : This pilot study will commence in June 2018.
Conclusions : We hope that based on the results of our study, we will be able to explore the downstream effects from being in a low income family, and impact policies that address inequality in Singapore.
Keywords: Inequality Screening Low income
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