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DHA, principals discuss school health policies

Dubai, September 17, 2012

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) regulation department recently held a meeting with the principals of all Dubai schools to discuss school health guidelines and policies which need to be implemented for the new academic year.

Khalid Al Sheikh Mubarak, the deputy director-general of the DHA, said: “School health policies are essential to ensure every child is protected and that the school environment is safe for them. The DHA has prepared the school health guideline after a consensus from all stakeholders including Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities. The aim is to ensure all schools follow uniform guidelines which are in line with international standards.”

“These guidelines include medical staff and student ratio, vaccination guidelines including free vaccinations, procurement and storage of vaccines at right temperatures, and first aid.”

Dr Ramadan Ibrahim, director of regulation at the DHA, said: “The DHA provides certain free vaccines for students from the age of 5 to 18 and parents can decide whether they would like their children to receive these vaccines at school or not. All schools are supposed to keep a check on the exact number of vaccines they need and they have to follow accurate administration and storage guidelines.”

“The free vaccines include the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), Diphtheria Pertusis (DP), measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), tetanus-diphtheria (TD), Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), and bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) which is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB),” he said.

“In addition to vaccines, the school health immunisation guidelines also stipulate the mandatory medical professional to student ratio. This ratio is important because it ensures adequate medical professionals are present in schools,” said Amal Ali Almehrezi, head of school health & education institutions, health regulation department.

Schools with less than 1,000 children are required to have one full-time nurse and one part-time doctor. Schools which have less than 2,000 children are required to have two full-time doctors and one full-time nurse and schools that have more than 2,000 children are required to have two full-time nurses for every 1,000 students and two full-time doctors, she said.

“There are more school health services in the pipeline and presently the authority is encouraging schools to voluntarily begin implementing these services,” Almehrezi said. “This year we plan to introduce new services but presently they are not compulsory, for instance, we would like schools to keep a mobile CPR unit, which we feel will enhance the way in which emergency care is administered. We encourage all schools to understand the working of this equipment and then decide whether it adds to their line of emergency care.”

“We also plan to introduce an online system which will allow school authorities to post their query to DHA regulation officials and they will receive the reply on-the-spot,” Dr Ibrahim said. “We do not wish to inundate the schools with too many features and therefore the implementation of this online chat will be based on feedback we receive from schools.”

“In future the authority and schools will organise a workshop for parents and school staff to ensure that both stakeholders are regularly educated on school health policies,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Dubai | Schools | Dubai Health Authority | guidelines |

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