Singapore couple build bomb-resistant homes in Ukraine

19/9/2022 9:45:00 AM

To date, the couple have built 200 homes with local partners in the region since the war started in February.

To date, the couple have built 200 homes with local partners in the region since the war started in February.

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): On his second trip to Ukraine in August, architect Rudy Taslim, 38, almost wandered into a forest of pine trees, before he was yanked by his collar to a halt by his local guide.

Pointing to a nondescript sign with"mine" in Ukrainian written in black paint, barely visible amid the foliage and rubble of the war-torn countryside, Taslim realised that he had nearly lost his life venturing into a field of landmines.This means patients could take a longer time to recover from infections, and are at higher risk of severe illness and death since the medicine has become less effective.for the latest news you need to know.for the latest news you need to know.

"Although I could have lost my life that day, this is just part of the everyday landscape for Ukrainians," he said.He and his wife, Lam Bao Yan, also 38, are two Singaporeans working in Ukraine to build new bomb-resistant emergency homes for the millions of citizens affected by the war with Russia.Such a situation, known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), has become a grave concern globally and Malaysia is not spared, said the Health Ministry.To date, the couple have built 200 homes with local partners in the region since the war started in February.The 31-year-old was earlier believed to be in Singapore, where last month he gave his first media interview since the crypto operator folded in May.The couple went to the country twice, in May and August, to assess the situation on the ground and build homes for a few weeks each time.To stop AMR from becoming worse in Malaysia, the ministry told Sunday Star that it is coming up with a new national strategic plan to combat such “superbugs”, to be ready by the end of this year.They expect to roll out a total of 500 homes by winter in November.Aside from CDAC, the other ethnic self-help groups in Singapore are Mendaki, the Singapore Indian Development Association and the Eurasian Association.

With the winters in Ukraine getting as cold as minus 20 deg C or lower, Taslim said:"If these homes are not up by winter, the cold could kill these people even before a bullet does.Before this, the ministry had put in place its first national action plan on AMR between 2017 and 2021, which focused on education and awareness, surveillance and research, infection prevention and control, and appropriate use of antimicrobials.Singapore's Straits Times newspaper has reported that Kwon's work permit in the city-state was due to expire on December 7." Lam, who works with Taslim in their firm Genesis Architects, said:"When the war struck, we knew that only some fraction of the population comprising able-bodied women and children were allowed to leave..This is because the main drivers of AMR include the misuse and overuse of antibiotics – either in humans or in food animals like poultry and livestock and aquaculture..Kwon's Terra/Luna system disintegrated in May, with the price of both tokens plummeting to near zero, and the fallout hitting the wider crypto market.This means that men, people in rural villages and those with severe mental health conditions and physical handicaps would have likely slipped through the gaps.Last year, it was reported that an estimated 700,000 deaths globally each year are linked to antibiotic resistance issues, and if uncontrolled, this is expected to increase to 10 million by 2050.“They can also address issues forthrightly, without raising racial or religious sensitivities.

" During one of their trips, the couple had heard about three children living alone in a ravaged home in the village.The trio were bereft of their parents, and the youngest - a five-year-old girl - had cerebral palsy and was being taken care of by her brother, who was only 15.In Malaysia, an example of bacteria which has become stronger is the Acinetobacter baumannii, which is responsible for illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis, bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.Unlike other stablecoins backed by tangible assets like cash, TerraUSD was algorithmic -- using code to maintain its price at around one US dollar based on a complex system of minting and burning.The middle child, a girl who was only eight, was vulnerable to the risk of sexual exploitation by opportunistic predators.Lam said:"These are the people still left behind without support, who have become invisible as the world moved on from the war in Ukraine.“For an antibiotic known as meropenem, the bacteria’s resistance spiked from 58." While the trio have since been funded by the couple to go to school and directed to local help, Lam said most homes had also been completely destroyed, forcing residents to live in bomb shelters or makeshift tents made of tarpaulin.In the interview last month with crypto media start-up Coinage, Kwon admitted he had been"wrong" but said he had not decided whether he would return to South Korea to cooperate with the probes.At the same time, he added that these groups should also be encouraged to collaborate with one another, to “reinforce Singapore’s social compact and strengthen our multiracial identity”.

Lam added:"Many of these people just live for weeks on end in bomb shelters and leave only to collect food outside.8% last year,” the ministry said.But it really is no way to live - it is dark, damp, dusty and windowless..8% chance that the antibiotic won’t work on patients receiving the treatment.— AFP Advertisement..It's as if they're not even human.He explained that when antibiotics are used, some bacteria will die but resistant ones can survive and even multiply.

" Through their architectural expertise, the couple have designed modular homes that are cost-effective, using local-sourced materials such as pine wood and even styrofoam blocks that comply with European Union standards for health and safety.Each housing module is slightly bigger than a container and comes fitted with a toilet, kitchen and living spaces.“We are trying to implement the national action plan on AMR to the best of our ability, as it is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today,” he said.These modules can be further connected and modified to create larger homes.A family of five can live in two to three modules.Taslim said:"Although styrofoam is often seen as this sort of fish-market, flimsy material, industrial styrofoam can be quite robust and is a cheap and light material that is also quite effective as an insulator against the cold.

"Besides this, the houses being cheap, light and modular makes it easy to manufacture these homes centrally and get them transported to places of need." Taslim said GenesisArchitects worked with Ukrainian suppliers to bring costs down from an initial €16,000 (S$23,000) to €4,000 per housing module.The design plans were also shared with interested parties to build these houses by themselves.Funded privately through donations from friends and family, the houses are provided to people for free.Taslim and Lam have also been able to create local employment in Ukraine through the building of these houses.

The occupants of these homes are chosen based on how incapable they are of moving away.While the couple know that their help might only be"a drop in an ocean", Lam said what matters to them is that they are actually contributing directly on the ground.Recalling a woman who hugged her and wept when the couple rescued her after she had been living without food for a few days in a bomb shelter, Lam said:"What these people want most is to know that the world is with them, here, and that they have not been forgotten, that someone will come and save them." While many have sent love and support to Ukraine in the form of online messages, she said:"Ultimately, to us, love is not a word but an action..

.Love is a thing in the world that can be seen and felt." On their trips to Ukraine, the couple also took along a team of professionals such as dentists, doctors and counsellors, so that they could provide more holistic support to the people there.Lam added:"With the skills and resources we had, building houses for Ukrainians was what we thought love and support looked like..

.And we would like to encourage others to imagine what love might look like if it were a thing as well." Those who want to donate or help can visit https://str.sg/wKah or e-mail impact@loveonukraine.com to find out more.

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