Health, education depts join hands to tackle flu


The Karnataka government on Thursday decided to tag its health check-up programme for students, ‘Suvarna Arogya Chaitanya’, with a special focus to identify children with swine flu-like symptoms and their referral to government hospitals.

The Education Department has also moved into action, entrusting school heads and teachers with the responsibility of identifying children with symptoms of swine flu and take steps for check-up and treatment.

“In case local government hospitals do not have proper treatment facilities, students must be taken to the nearest referral hospital”, a circular issued by the Commissioner of Public Instruction B A Harish Gowda said. The school authorities have also been directed that children infected with H1N1 virus are completely cured before allowing them back to school.

The health department decision was taken at a high-level meeting of officials who also instructed district health officers to take measures to tackle any eventuality arising out of the swine flu situation. Among those present were district surgeons, surveillance officers and health officers. As part of the ‘Survna Arogya Chaitanya’ programme, a total of one crore students from Standard 1 to 10, will be eligible for undergoing health check-up for the next one month.

Students of 46,000 government-aided and unaided schools will be covered. “As children are vulnerable to all types of viruses, teams of doctors will visit schools. In addition to regular check-ups, the doctors have been advised to detect swine flu-like symptoms and take measures for testing samples and prescribe treatment,” Health Department Principal Secretary I R Perumal said. A list of the teams has already been prepared at the district level. The teams have been handed over the lists of schools they have to visit.

He also said that as a precautionary measure, all district hospitals have been directed to keep ready separate rooms to quarantine patients who test positive .

Each hospital has been equipped with 100 Tamiflu tablets. Since the programme will continue for a month, the education department’s objective is to utilise school teachers in identifying symptoms. This has been done with the knowledge that doctors might not be available readily. Accordingly, the department has launched an awareness drive for teachers on swine flu-like symptoms. These symptoms, at the preliminary and advanced stages, are being complied and sent to all schools across the State.

The Health Department has also directed that there be no lapses or carelessness in the screening passengers at the Bengaluru International Airport and Mangalore airport.


After effect

*Children at a Pune residential school have been quarantined in a special room for 13 days, even after their medicinal course is over

* Rida’s family files criminal complaint against pvt hospitals

* 2 new Pune schools added to list of flu-hit educational institutions

* Out of the five students who were suspected to be suffering from swine flu in Mangalore, three were tested positive on Thursday.

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