With the State of Qatar implementing Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Qatar National Response Action Plan, a major milestone was the reopening of schools. Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), along with PHCC School Health Services and Program (SHSP) and Communicable Diseases Control departments has launched a ‘School Health Guidance Protocol’ to reinforce precautionary protective measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 at schools, and pave the way for a safe return for students and staff.
The Protocol was made as a reference for all departments, nurses and allied teams, namely health and safety wards, and for the school community as a whole. It explains all precautionary procedures to be implemented in schools to ensure that the school environment is safe and healthy to receive students and staff in line with the safety measures.
To guarantee optimal implementation of the rules contained in the Protocol and in order to acquaint the school community with the best preventive practices, PHCC held multistage training workshops during the period from August 23 to August 27, 2020, for each department of school. A team comprising school health and communicable diseases control specialists was assigned to train all targeted categories, including school nurses in government and private schools, school principals, and health and safety wards on all preventive precautionary measures to be followed.
To ensure full readiness and sound implementation of precautionary measures, each of the section was assigned its role. For instance, school nurses were asked to assess and follow up the health of students on a case-by-case basis; and to deal with suspected cases in isolation rooms and refer and follow up the same. Health and safety wards were asked to support the school team designated to follow up the implementation and progress of the precautionary measures at the school facilities ensuring they are fully adhered to and to respond to any remarks or potential risks before kids arrive at school.
PHCC School Health Services and Program reiterates that this is a joint social responsibility for all individuals and hence everyone is urged to comply with the precautionary preventive measures in school. One way to help stop the spread of infection is to stay at home if you feel unwell or if you come in contact with a positive case.