Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Singapore
  • Founded as a British colony in 1819. Joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent on August 9, 1965.
  • Location: Southeastern Asia, 63 islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Area: 274 sq. miles, slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, D.C.
  • Population: 5,674,472
  • Capital: Singapore (pop. 5.619 million)
  • Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy, two monsoon seasons – Northeastern monsoon (Dec.-March) and Southwestern monsoon (June – Sept.). Frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
  • Terrain: lowland, gently undulating central plateaus contains water catchment area and nature preserve
  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Ethnicity: primarily Chinese
  • Official languages: Mandarin, English, Malay, Tamil
  • Religions: Buddhist 33.9%, Muslim 14.3%, Taoist 11.3% other
  • Literacy: 96.8%
  • Economy: a highly developed and successful free-market economy. An open and corruption free government with stable prices. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial sector. Singapore’s port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of tonnage handled.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com



  • A parliamentary republic
  • Chief of state: President Tony Tan Keng Yam (since 2011) – elected by popular vote
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (since 2004) – appointed by the president


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy: 84.68
  • Health expenditures: 4.6% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 1.95 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 2 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 6.8%
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 3.3%
  • Generally an efficient healthcare system, ranked sixth in the world by the WHO. The government’s healthcare system is based upon the “3M” framework: Medifund which provides a safety net for those not able to afford healthcare, Medisave, a compulsory health savings scheme covering about 85% of the population, and Medishield, a government funded health insurance scheme.
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm


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Area Agencies

Field Stories

        My first medical  mission trip:    In the following pages I will talk about my experiences on my first trip to Haiti following the devastating earthquake in January 2010.   The biggest “first” is it was my first medical trip outside the United States.  I had done disaster relief for Hurricane […]


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