As the world contemplates a rapidly greying population and the attendant health issues, Singapore’s shining example of active ageing, 95-year-old gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Oon Chiew Seng has stepped up to make a difference. Dr Oon has made a generous gift to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to set up the Oon Chiew Seng Fellowship in Medicine (Women’s Health and Aging Science) at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, dedicated to the research and teaching of Anti-Ageing Science in Women’s Health and Dementia.
An alumna of the King Edward VII College of Medicine (’48), one of NUS’ predecessor institutions, Dr Oon has long been a champion for those suffering from dementia and other age-related illnesses. After retiring from active clinical practice, she embarked on a new chapter in her life: caring for the aged sick. She is the chairman of Apex Harmony Lodge, a nursing home for dementia patients that she initiated in 1995 at the age of 79. Apex Harmony Lodge started operating in 1999. She was also chairman of the Building Fund and Member of the Medical Committee of the Sree Narayana Mission Home for the Aged Sick from 1984 to 2000.
The issue of an ageing population is an urgent problem in Singapore as it is globally. By 2030, 19 percent of Singapore’s population will be aged 65 and above, up from around nine percent in 2010. The elderly are more susceptible to dementia, which currently affects around 20,000 Singaporeans, but this number is set to more than double to 45,000 by 2020.
Dr Oon is well-known for her commitment to caring for the elderly. She has won many awards over the years for her community work, among them the Public Service Medal as well as the Merit Award, Action Senior Citizen of the Year in 2003. In 2009, she was presented the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by NUS for her commitment to her alma mater. Recently, she was honoured as a long-serving healthcare volunteer at the Ministry of Health (MOH) Volunteers Appreciation Dinner.
Dr Oon started her career as a nurse before studying medicine. She worked at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital before entering private practice in 1959, one of the first specialists in Singapore to do so.
To know more about the Oon Chiew Seng Fellowship, please contact the Dean’s Office at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at (+65) 6772 3737.
For further information about making a gift to NUS, please contact Ms Ho Yuen Kwan on 6516 5755 or email email@example.com