Pilgrims, students to get flu vaccination priority

DUBAI — Immunisation against swine flu will be given as a priority to religious pilgrims and students of schools and universities, the Minister of Health,
Dr Hanif Hassan, said on Wednesday.

By Olivia Olarte

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Published: Fri 28 Aug 2009, 1:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:24 AM

A wide-ranging plan to handle the spread of swine flu met the approval of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during a tour of the Ministry of Health’s premises in Dubai on Wednesday.Dr Hassan said the plan was based on four components: prevention, treatment, awareness and training.

The strategy will be implemented by two technical and supervisory committees at the Ministry.

“Priority of immunisation will be given to Umrah and Haj performers and students of schools and universities,” Dr Hassan said, as quoted by the official news agency Wam.

On flu prevention, the minister affirmed that a vaccine against the virus will be administered by health clinics across the country once the product is obtained by the UAE and approved by the World Health Organisation.

All you wanted to know about Swine Flu

Dr Hassan said 250 training programmes were conducted to build capacities of medical professionals to handle potential cases of infection.

Shaikh Mohammed also met the Health Ministry’s Director-General,Dr Ali bin Shuker, its Executive Director, Nasser Al Bedour, and other top health officials on Wednesday.

In Abu Dhabi today, the first sessions will begin on training 1,000 teachers and school nurses from private and public schools on swine flu prevention.

The training, organised by the Abu Dhabi Education Council in partnership with the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, will be held as a series of sessions over coming weeks.

“All public and private schools in the Abu Dhabi emirate will be required to register for this mandatory training,” said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khalili, Director-General of the educationcouncil. The first session will be attended by 60 educators and nurses from schools that are opening this month and from those schools that previouslyregistered.

“Each school must send two educators and they will be charged with training their fellow teachers/educators, who will then be expected to pass this training on to their students,”Dr Al Khalili said.

As nurses from the public schools had recently been given training on H1N1, only educators from the public schools need attend.

The training will cover general knowledge of H1N1 influenza, initial management of a suspected case, how to report cases and H1N1 infection control precautionary measures in schools, such as respiratory hygiene — covering nose and mouth when sneezing.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Humaid Mohammed Al Qattami, told Khaleej Times the ministry was working on a standing guideline for swine flu prevention at schools.

“... we are still working with the Ministry of Health,” he said, adding that an announcement would be made as soon as possible.

(With inputs from Wam)

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