Speech By Mdm Cynthia Phua, MP for Aljunied GRC,
    at the World Continence Week 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this meaningful programme. The severity of incontinence has all along been taken too lightly in a country with an aging population. Your Society’s participation in World Continence Week would serve as an opportune reminder about the importance of awareness of incontinence conditions.
Although incontinence is not a life-endangering illness, it is mentally and emotionally draining. Like many young children, bed-wetting was a common problem for many. It leaves the child waking up feeling uncomfortable and ashamed. As a parent, many would remember the times when we had to soothe the crying child when they were upset by their bedwetting.
The incapability of having little or no control over one’s excretory system has always been associated with cause for embarrassment. The mental strain for adults would be even harsher. If sufferers do not seek proper treatment, it may soon result in more cases of depression and social isolationism amongst the elderly. Your Society has an important role to play in promoting the relevance of accessible treatments, as well as creating awareness amongst incontinence sufferers and their loved ones about the correct methods of dealing with this condition.
I applaud the visions of World Continence Week, and I hope that the SFCS will continue to campaign for the achievement of these goals in Singapore even after this event. I understand your Society has been striving to improve incontinence management in medical institutions and nursing homes by organising clinical teachings for medical professionals working in these establishments. This is an exemplary move that certainly contributes towards improved wellbeing and quality of life among sufferers.
Thus, I hope that the Society will consider expanding the scope of such practical teaching sessions to include care giving and emotion management to incontinence sufferers and their loved ones. After all, dealing with incontinence should be a multi-prong approach, involving healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the sufferer himself. I believe these, together with the multitude of awareness activities that the Society already organizes, will lead to more effective all-round management of the illness.
I wish all of you a fruitful World Continence Week.
“I applaud the visions of World Continence Week, and I hope that the SFCS will continue to campaign for the achievement of these goals in Singapore even after this event.”