Singapore, which has a reputation as the cleanest city in Asia, now hopes to be the healthiest as well.
Singapore, which has a reputation as the cleanest city in Asia, now hopes to be the healthiest as well. It has just begun an unusual campaign to fight kidney disease which kills 400 Singaporeans each year.
Twenty university medical students are touring a large housing estate with the aim of collecting 10,000 urine samples for a survey on kidney diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure for the National Kidney Foundation.
They have chosen the Alexandra housing estate which, according to medical authorities, ideally reflects Singapore's multi-racial make-up.
However, because of the personal nature of the survey, the youthful investigators often found themselves rebuffed when they knocked on doors. Those who do co-operate are rewarded with five Singapore dollars (US$1.7).
After taking a blood pressure test, volunteers then gave a urine sample which is analysed on the spot using a simple slide method. If any abnormality is found, the person concerned is offered free and specialised treatment at a hospital kidney unit in order to allow further detailed investigations.
Those found to have high blood pressure or diabetes are also offered specialised treatment free of charge. All the samples are later given a more detailed examination at the University of Singapore to check for any bacteria growth.
The survey is expected to take six weeks with another six months needed to carry out the overall analysis.