Dohms launches vaccination drive in Dubai schools

DUBAI — The School Health Section at the Primary Health Care Department of the Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) has started administering 26,000 vaccine doses of various types to an estimated 22,000 students at private schools around Dubai. The goal is to immunise children against infectious diseases in order to achieve a disease-free society.

By Hani M Bathish

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Published: Tue 14 Sep 2004, 9:23 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:46 PM

Dr Al Jeeli Qurshi, in-charge of the school health section at the Dohms, said that with the start of the new academic year, the school health section has started administering required vaccines to students from the first grade up to the third secondary. The vaccines include those for polio, hepatitis C, diphtheria, whooping cough, among others.

Dr Qurshi said that an inspection visit is carried out at each school twice a week. Each day, four schools are inspected to make sure that school health guidelines are adhered to in school cafeterias and at water coolers, and to make sure the quality of food offered is suitable. Playgrounds and sports gymnasiums are also inspected to make sure students will not suffer serious injury due to faulty or defective equipment.

“We have replaced all metal swing sets in school playgrounds with plastic ones, as metal gets very hot under the sun and sharp metal points can cause serious injury. We also inspect ventilation in schools and proper disposal of waste materials. Each school health inspector is accompanied on his inspection tour by a Dubai Municipality inspector,” Dr Qurshi said.

He said that inspection visits also include checking to see if there are doctors and nurses at school clinics. Health and safety guidelines require that the clinics of schools with 1,000 students should be visited by a doctor twice a week and that there should be a full time nurse at the clinic. While in schools with more than 1,500 students there has to be at least two or three full time nurses as well as a full time doctor on duty.

Dr Qurshi said that the school health section conducts regular awareness lectures at schools throughout the academic year in cooperation with the health education section at Al Maktoum Hospital. The lectures are held to mark special occasions on the health care calendar such as World Heart Day, as well as lectures on the dangers of smoking and the likes.

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