Plan set out to face potential swine flu outbreak in Saudi schools


The move follows a Memoran-dum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Monday in Jeddah by Minister of Education Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Muhammad and Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah to cooperate on issues related to health and potential swine flu outbreaks in schools.

The accord aims to improve the health of schoolchildren and curb communicable and noncommunicable diseases in educational establishments by encouraging students to lead healthy lives and immunizing them against diseases.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khaled Al-Mirghalani said the agreement covers a wide range of issues related to health in schools, including health awareness, tackling drugs, dental protection and students’ psychological and social well-being. He said the agreement also aims to promote awareness of sound eating habits, physical exercise, risk factors associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity and asthma. Al-Mirghalani said the MOU further emphasizes the importance of sharing information on health matters, reactivating national, regional and international health days, and working jointly to complement each other’s efforts in health care services. The MOU also outlines each ministry’s role in the plan. The Ministry of Health will provide the Ministry of Education with health awareness material on swine flu and train personnel on how to detect illnesses among students at an early stage. The Ministry of Health will also participate in organizing swine flu awareness programs for educational personnel and students, prepare a general guide for teachers on how to discover and deal with swine flu, and provide instruments to detect viruses. The Ministry of Education will, meanwhile, set up an awareness plan for schools, implement the national plan on combating swine flu, secure the required quantity of temperature measurement devices in accordance with Ministry of Health specifications, and provide hand and toilet cleansing materials. The Ministry of Education will also distribute swine flu awareness material prepared by the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom’s schools, participate in committees set up to combat swine flu and create awareness on the disease using school radio transmissions, student activities, exhibitions and parent assemblies.

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