By Elsa Baxter
Step-by-step guide over action to take with suspected H1N1 case issued to all schools.
Abu Dhabi health officials have announced an action plan for schools across the emirate ahead of the new academic term to prevent the spread of swine flu.
A step-by-step guide outlining what action must be taken when a pupil or member of staff is believed to be infected with the H1N1 virus has been issued to all schools.
More than 300 school nurses have been trained in how to deal with pupils suspected of having swine flu, with more courses for staff planned.
The move by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC) comes amid growing concerns among parents that pupils could be at risk of contracting the virus when they return to school.
Education officials sought to calm parents and advised them that the authorities were taking the issue seriously and proper measures put in place.
"Schools and parents should be assured that ADEC and HAAD are working together to carefully monitor and control the spread of influenza-like illnesses in schools,” said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, director general of ADEC. “Together with HAAD, we have developed a detailed action plan that considers all possible scenarios.”
The action plan also includes instructions for schools and teachers to help prevent the spread of swine flu, as well as information for parents and pupils.
Factsheets, in Arabic and English, are also available which include detailed risk management information about swine flu and the resources available for detection and treatment, HAAD said in a statement.
"The joint action plans also covers training school staff and nurses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain on how to identify influenza-like illnesses and deal with such cases,” said Zaid Al Siksik, CEO of HAAD.