Government probes Emirati boy’s death after school measles jab
Ajman - Ajman Police launched an investigation to ascertain the reason behind the child's death.
Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 10:17 AM
Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 2:03 PM
Authorities in Ajman and Ministry of Education (MoE) have launched an investigation into the death of a seven-year-old boy. They are ascertaining the exact circumstances that led to his death.
An Ajman Police official said that they can't determine the cause of death until the completion of forensic report, which will be handed over to the public prosecution.
A complaint lodged by the boy's family with the police and public prosecution stated that the Grade 2 student - Khalifa Marwan Al Balooshi - died as he had received vaccine in the school on Sunday, January 20.
The official added that a joint investigating committee - comprising officials from MoE, Ministry of Health, public prosecution and forensic laboratory of the Ajman Police - has been formed. The forensic laboratory has taken a sample of the vaccine for testing. It has already completed the autopsy and the boy's body has been handed over to his family. A report is being prepared which will include testimonial statements of teachers, school management and nurses working in the clinic.
The authorities cant's say if the boy had died due to medical error in the school or accuse anyone until the investigation is completed.
An official from the Education Zone said that the school facilitates all students with the vaccine as part of the vaccination campaign against measles. Usually, in case of vaccine drive, the schools issues circulars to parents to receive their consent. Some of the parents do not sign the consent letter, but provide documentation to prove medical contraindications, the official added.
Khulood, a teacher at the school, said that the boy - as any other student - received the vaccine - following the consent letter from his parents. He went back, and died the next in his home, not in the school, the teacher said, adding the school has qualified medical nurses and fully equipped with facilities.
A relative of the deceased said that his nephew had received the vaccine in the school and came back home with no health complaints but later developed fever. When his mother tried to wake him up the next day (on Monday) after Fajr prayer, he didn't respond. The boy was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, the kin said. "We have lodged a complaint with the public prosecution, but we can't say he died due to vaccine in the school until the investigation is over."
Full time doctor must develop school's medication policyIf school has a full time doctor, the medication policy should be developed under his/her responsibility. School doctor's instructions should be followed on the storage and delivery procedures of medications - regarding expiry date, temperature control and other pharmaceutical issues.
All healthcare professionals should have appropriate licence issued by Ministry of Health and the necessary training and skills to deliver the services provided by the medical facility. The minimum requirement for healthcare professionals in any school depend on the school's strength (student-healthcare professional ratio).
At least, one professional with training in advanced resuscitative techniques, e.g. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Paediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS), should be immediately available till all students leave the school. There should be a programme of on-going in-service training for all professionals providing healthcare services. Such training may be provided within the school or obtained through participation in continuing medical education (CME) offered outside the facility. School doctors need 30 CME hours annually to renew their licence. For school nurses, the requirement is 15 CME hours annually.
For less than 1,000 students, one full time nurse and at least one part time doctor are required. For 1,000 to 2,000 students, two full time nurses and one full time doctor are needed. And for more than 2,000 students, one full time nurse for every 1,000 students and two full time doctors.
Part time doctor should be available in the school clinic at least twice per week for at least two hours during each visit.
School must maintain medical records of studentsThe school must maintain health records and reports in a manner to ensure accuracy and easy retrieval. Data collection should be structured in a manner to consistently encourage a free flow of information. Health records should be kept in the custody of the health facility and be made available to a patient or his/her designated representative through the attending healthcare professional at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice.
The facility should ensure that each student is allocated a specific unique identification, and where multiple records for the same student exist, they are cross-referenced. A record should include the recent history, physical examination, any pertinent progress notes, laboratory reports, imaging reports as well as communication with other student/patient personnel. Records should highlight allergies and untoward drug reactions. They should be organised in a consistent manner that facilitates continuity of care.
Reporting requirements should be consistent with relevant patient confidentiality regulations implemented by MoH. Discussions with student/patients concerning the necessity, appropriateness of treatment, as well as discussion of treatment alternatives, should be incorporated into a patient's medical record as well as documentation of executed informed consent. Specific policies should be established to address retention of active records, retirement of inactive records, timely entry of data in records, and release of information contained in records.
Only health practitioners in the school clinic directly involved in a student's care must have access to the student's health records and related information.