Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) has expressed concern over the inadequate precautionary measures taken by private schools to prevent the spread of swine flu among teachers and students, reports Al-Qabas daily. The society revealed principals of some private schools have complained that they are not getting the necessary support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to contain the virus, warning this might lead to serious consequences and spread of infection. Ayed Al-Sahli, head of the society, pointed out in a letter to Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mudhi Al-Humoud “we hope the ministry will handle this situation properly by immediately taking the required precautions.” He went on to say the society expects the school owners to fully comprehend the situation, as well as the complaints of principals. Al-Sahli also appreciated the efforts of administrators in private schools to provide the basic requirements to prevent swine flu infection among students and teachers.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud said Saturday the ministry was keen on preserving safety of students in all schools. Al-Humoud, also Minister of Higher Education, said in a statement before beginning of public schools the Ministry has been carrying out a series of preventive measures over the past two months hand-in-hand with the ministry of Health to deal with any swine flu case. She said the ministry has provided necessary medical equipment for clinics in schools, in addition to supplying the Educational Areas with leaflets on the best means to dealing with suspected swine flu cases. Al-Humoud called on parents to check their kids’ temperature before leaving home for school in order to make sure that they were in good health. She said the ministry has already prepared a plan aimed at making up for the students who might be forced to miss schools because of swine flu.
In the meantime, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MoH) is thinking to dispatch some of its patients to South Korean hospitals for treatment, a ministry official said Saturday. Speaking to KUNA after a tour of South Korean medical facilities and capabilities, MoH Assistant Undersecretary for Assisted Healthcare Qais Al-Dowairy said that hospitals in the country are advanced and include state-of-the-art equipment, as well as highly skilled staff. MoH is also thinking of sending Kuwaiti doctors to the Far Eastern country for training, especially in the field of spinal cord surgery. Advanced technology is used in this particular field of surgery through sophisticated microscopic lenses, Al-Dowairy indicated.
An agreement with South Korean authorities has also been carried out, whereby Kuwait will host a number of specialists in cancer and orthopedic (bone) surgery. South Korea is aiming to become the number one destination for foreign travelling patients, especially those from oil-rich Arabian Gulf states. Meanwhile, Kuwait will be receiving South Korean medical experts soon as a step to bolster bilateral medical relations, head of the department of retirees and treatment abroad in the Kuwaiti Defense Ministry Sheikh Sabah Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said here Saturday. Sheikh Sabah told KUNA that the visits would boost medical cooperation between the two states and would lead to the exchange of expertise.
The official lauded the Defense Ministry’s efforts to develop its medical services by attracting top level world physicians. Around 277 South Korean medical institutions expressed interests in treating Kuwaiti patients in South Korea. The number of foreign patients receiving treatment in South Korea is expected to reach nearly 50,000 by the end of 2009. In the meantime, Kuwaiti Undersecretary of Health Ibrahim Al-Abdul Hadi praised on Saturday the initiative made by Kuwait Pharmaceutical Association dubbed “precautionary protection” against swine flu which will kick off tomorrow and would target students in the elementary level as a start. Commenting on the campaign, a press conference was held which was attended by Dr Al-Abdul Hadi, Undersecretary of Education Tamadur Al-Sidairawi, and President of Kuwait Pharmaceutical Association Dr Tareq Al-Habib.
Al-Abdul Hadi said that his ministry is proud of this initiative which is an essential reinforcement to medical and health services in Kuwait, adding that the ministry had done all the necessary steps to curb the spread of swine flu epidemic at various levels, including through on-going television messages and weekly press conferences, seminars, and lectures with specialized agencies. The minister noted as well that his ministry also worked to equip hospitals with the necessary equipment to confront the disease and mobilize medical and nursing staff in hospitals and health centers, including the coordination with relevant ministries such as ministries of Education and Interior. Meanwhile, Al-Sidairawi said the ministry of education did everything it could to address swine flu, including holding seminars and lectures on the definition of the disease and methods of prevention and in coordination with the Ministry of Health, without exaggeration or carelessness. Al-Sidairawi said the ministry has coordinated with all schools’ departments in case a suspected case emerges which will then be transferred to school clinic.
For his part, Al-Habib noted that the campaign was initiated because of the association’s keenness to actively participate and contribute to the protection of society and prevent them from all dangers, especially their health. The president of the association stressed importance on “unity of the community represented by public authorities and the private sector in minimizing the spread of the disease and prevent people from its consequences. The Ministry of Education has asked that the Ministry of Health supply gloves for teachers to cover their hands while writing on chalkboards to protect them from possible swine flu infections, reports Awan daily. According to a source, the Ministry made this request following cues from foreign private schools that have implemented this step, particularly those schools that recorded around two cases. He said the gloves will protect teachers who supervise affected classes, adding the Ministry of Health has been asked to ensure that the gloves are of good quality. He also said the Ministry has been asked to provide a fresh batch of gloves for the teachers every week.