Let's be appreciative despite breakdown

Let's be appreciative despite breakdown

While I was disappointed at the massive MRT breakdown on July 7, I am still grateful to the SMRT staff who worked overnight during the agonising period ("2 major MRT lines down for over 2 hours"; July 8).

However, I am disturbed by the fact that even though they tried their best to restore the system, they had to endure harsh remarks from numerous members of the public.

Many complained about missing dinner with family members. However, many SMRT staff would also have missed dinner, as they would have been recalled to work during the crisis.

It is understandable that one might feel frustrated over the disruption of one's routine, but let's spare a thought for those who are serving us in times like this.

Instead of complaining, a smile or a simple "thank you" is more in order.

Ni Xu Gang Metta, 16,
Secondary 4 student

Don't take eyesight for granted

After reading the heartwarming stories about the achievements and challenges of three blind individuals ("The audacity of aspiration - and hope", "First to get a guide dog in S'pore", and "Being blind didn't stop her from scaling mountain"; all published on July 1), I cannot help but think about how it must be like to live a life without sight.

Sight is precious; it helps us in almost everything we do.

How horrible it must be to not be able to see any of our loved ones, our favourite food and our favourite places.

Sight also helps us with our mobility and everyday tasks, such as crossing the road. Yet, many of us take our eyesight for granted.

Eyecare professionals recommend that we check our eyes annually. However, surveys by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) showed that only 36 per cent to 38 per cent of respondents had their eyes checked within the previous year.

In the SNEC study, 45 per cent of respondents thought that being able to see clearly was a sign that their eyes are healthy and 77 per cent felt that a deterioration in sight was a normal part of ageing.

It is important to highlight that serious sight-threatening conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), may already be present, even in the presence of good sight, and regular eye examination is important to pick them up so doctors are able to treat them at an early stage and prevent any further deterioration of sight.

I believe more should be done to educate the public on various eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Events such as the AMD Awareness Week and Mini Medical School, organised by KTPH, which I previously attended, have been helpful in this regard.

In addition, perhaps the Education and Health Ministries can introduce a school-based curriculum to teach the basics of healthcare and inculcate the importance of preventive measures to preserve the health of all students.

Denise Au Eong (Miss), 19,
pre-university student


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'VoicesOfYouth'. Print Edition | Subscribe