Health alert for Bahrain schools
Manama, October 3, 2010
Expatriate children returning to school mid-term have been urged to visit their nearest health centres for a check-up.
Health authorities issued the advisory in a bid to curb the problem of tracking down youngsters who could be carriers of communicable diseases.
Health Ministry director of school health services Dr Mariam Hermes Al Hajeri said several expatriate children had previously come to Bahrain without being screened, unlike their parents who undergo mandatory pre-employment tests.
'Unfortunately, we have some expatriate children who join grade nine onwards in private schools who are not screened or have completed their vaccinations,' she told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN).
'Some of them do not have a medical certificate with details of vaccination.'
Dr Al Hajeri said officials did not want to take any chances following the spread of some virus among children last year.
More than 180,000 school children returned to classes for the start of the academic term last month, including more than 55,000 in private schools, and more returning today.
Ministry international health regulations consultant Dr Muna Al Mousawi said special campaigns were being carried out at schools and universities to detect cases of communicable and non-communicable diseases among expatriate students.
A special Defaulters Immunisation Form is presented to parents of expatriate pupils not present during immunisation sessions at school.
It requests they take their children to their nearest health centre to be vaccinated mainly against Hepatitis A and given the so-called Tdap injection for protection against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.
Last year expatriates registered the highest cases of Hepatitis B, Pulmonary Tuberculosis and mumps.-TradeArabia News Service