Liberia: Govt. Releases Protocols On Ebola for School Reopening
By: Joseph Toe
The Ministry of Education has released protocols that must be put in place in every school to ensure a safe school environment prior to the re-opening of a school.
The protocols dictate that school administrators identify any possible exposure to Ebola by student or school personnel during the 21 days before the planned school reopening in February, 2015, according to a nine-page document released by the ministry.
According to the document, information regarding potential exposure to Ebola in the 21 days before schools reopen will be collected for every student and school personnel during registration.
Contact details of parents, guardians, or spouses to be reached in case a student or school personnel becomes ill at school will also be collected, said the document quoted by the Liberia News Agency.
The protocol also dictate that hand-washing facilities must be at all school entry points and bathrooms, and school entries must be controlled by measuring temperatures, checking symptoms and washing hands every morning to prevent anyone showing Ebola symptoms from entering the school premises.
A referral system with a nearby health facility must be in place before schools reopen, and school administrators have to contact the County Health Team to agree on a referral system for the school in accordance with the Ministry of Health, according to the protocols.
It is required that each school identifies a small space that will be used solely for temporary isolation of students and school personnel with Ebola symptoms while waiting for the arrival of a family, guardian and referral.
The protocols further stipulate that the School Ebola Committee should have clear line of communication with the County Health Team to ensure they are informed of any student or staff currently being traced as potential contacts.
According to the protocols, teachers who were doing contact tracing while schools were closed are not allowed to continue doing so once schools have reopened and they have resumed their teaching duties
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