Schools ask parents to watch out for meningitis symptoms

DUBAI — Dubai-based schools, including Our Own Indian School (OOIS) and Our Own English High School (OOEHS), where the children infected by meningitis were studying, have issued circulars to parents asking them to watch out for any symptom of the disease among their children.

By Asma Ali Zain And Joy Sengupta

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Published: Wed 7 Feb 2007, 9:51 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:26 AM

The circular issued by the OOIS, where two of the infected children, brother and sister, are studying, said, “We wish to inform the families that the children, one studying in KG 1 and the other in Grade 1, have been admitted to the Al Baraha Hospital with suspected bacterial meningitis. The final diagnostic report based on test results is negative for serious bacterial meningitis. However, we felt that it was important to share this information with families.”

It also said, “Should your children exhibit these symptoms, we ask that you consult your doctor, do not send your child to school and inform the school. Children contract minor flus, colds and viruses at this time of the year and families should not be unduly alarmed.”

A spokesperson for the OOEHS, which reported one meningitis case, said, “A circular to parents will be sent today. We have urged parents not to panic because the classroom where the infected child of Grade 1 studied has been fumigated and we are in touch with the school health authorities at the Ministry of Health (MoH). Besides, our teachers are also spreading awareness about meningitis among students.”

DM call

Meanwhile, the Dubai Municipality has called on Dubai-based schools, day care centres, kindergartens and educational foundations to abide by health rules in order to avoid spread of infectious diseases.

Salim Musmar, Director of the Public Health Department at the civic body, said the department is keeping an eye on educational establishments to check whether they are following health rules.

“The Clinic and Community Health Section, affiliated to the Public Health Department, has set a number of compulsory health conditions which nursery schools must abide by,” he said.

According to the statistics available with the municipality, a total of 64 certified kindergartens in Dubai (of them, 47 are located in Bur Dubai and 17 in Deira) are always subjected to a surveillance programme being conducted by public health inspectors.

“Inspectors pay visits to educational establishments to see if there’s any breach of rules. Those found violating laws are warned or fined,” added the official.

As for the measures taken by the Dubai Municipality with regard to issuing licences to nursery schools, Musmar said the process is carried out by the Economic Department following a series of mandatory checks.

“The inspection is carried out by the private schools committee comprising public health inspector, working with the health control and epidemics section of the Dubai Municipality clinic, and another inspector.”

In case some violations are detected in a nursery school, the Economic Department will be alerted so that it can take appropriate actions.

Dubai Municipality health guidelines

  • All private educational establishments should meet health rules to protect public health
  • An institution should have a commercial licence from the Economic Department and an approval from the MoE and the MoL
  • They should be far from polluting areas
  • Buildings must be made of concrete and not wood
  • Should have proper ventilation and lighting system
  • A class should have 25 pupils
  • Enough space for indoor fields
  • Shaded areas must be provided
  • A doctor should visit at least twice a week
  • One or more nurse must be hired (depending upon the number of students)
  • Well equipped first aid room
  • Medical record of each student

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