Amid fears of a possible spread of swine flu among children here with re-opening of the schools after Ramadan, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has come out with an action plan for schools that aims to limit the spread of the disease.
The plan, developed jointly with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) includes vaccination of all students against seasonal flu as a preventive measure and an awareness campaign on swine flu targeting students, teachers and other school staff
Addressing a news conference yesterday, Dr Mohammed Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at SCH said, there was no plan to postpone re-opening of the schools.
A few private schools have already opened for the new academic session, while majority of the schools are scheduled to open after the Eid Al Fitr holidays.
“Over the past two weeks, people are talking about postponement of the school re-opening. Such a proposal is not under consideration now. However, we will closely monitor the situation and act like other countries,” said Al Thani. A circular has been issued to the schools with detailed information on how to deal with a suspected case of swine flu, whom to contact and how, and how to follow up on a confirmed case.
“We will start implementing the action plan as soon as the schools reopen after Ramadan. A few schools have already opened but they will be closing again shortly for the Eid Al Fitr holidays,” said Al Thani. Asked if all the schools are equipped to implement the plan, Al Thani said: “They should take some simple measures and it is in their own interest. Every school should ensure the health and safety of their students. We will work closely with the schools to help them in the process.”
Vaccination of children against seasonal flu will start immediately after the reopening of schools. All the students will also be vaccinated against swine flu as and when the vaccine is made available. All the schools have been asked to appoint a liaison officer to coordinate and communicate with their counterparts at SCH and attend the training sessions conducted by the latter.
Cleaning workers at schools have been advised to use disinfectants recommended by SCH, and wear suitable gloves while touching surfaces like door handles, tables, bathtubs etc. Schools are required to provide proper ventilation in classrooms and offices.
Schools have also been asked to keep thermometers to check students’ body temperature daily. However, there is no plan to install cameras at schools for this purpose, like those operating at the Doha International Airport, said Al Thani.
Two workshops have been organised for nurses and administrative staff at the schools to educate them on how to deal with the disease. The first workshop in Arabic will be held on September 7 and the second one in English will take place on September 10.
Follow us on our social media channels: