Ebola: Schools told to use Covid SOPs

Mr Henry Sunday Kosea, the head teacher of  Madudu CoU Primary School in Mubende District, stands in an empty classroom on September 27, 2022. Parents in Mubende and Kyegegwa districts withdrew their children from school, following the Ebola outbreak. PHOTO | DAN WANDERA

What you need to know:

  • Besides using the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were issued when schools fully reopened following the two-year closure, Ms Museveni also asked stakeholders to think on their feet.

In order to stop the spread of Ebola Virus Disease, the Ministry of Education and Sports has ordered schools to adopt guidelines used during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep learners and staff safe.

The Education minister, Ms Janet Museveni, said schools must put emphasis  handwashing with soap as well as having sanitisers at multiple locations such as the library, dining halls and dormitories. 

The First Lady made the remarks during a media briefing at State House, Nakasero on Friday.

Ms Museveni also advised that competent personnel be used to do temperature and symptom screening. In case any student or staff presents with high temperature, isolation protocols have to—the First Lady added—kick in. Wearing of face coverings, cleaning surfaces and physical distancing all have to be put to use regularly as per the Education minister’s directives.

“We already have structures in place from Covid-19. The school task forces should be reactivated and enhanced,” Ms Museveni said.

She added:“We should prohibit community people from entering our institutions, especially boarding schools, and teachers ought to disseminate information about Ebola as we did with Covid-19.”

Besides using the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were issued when schools fully reopened following the two-year closure, Ms Museveni also asked stakeholders to think on their feet. She said that according to medical professionals, the Ebola virus can survive on surfaces for anywhere between five to 10 days.

“If you don’t have any alcohol-based hand sanitiser, you can use JIK or regular bar soap,” Ms Museveni said while advising that tables in classrooms be wiped frequently.

Unlike in the Covid-19 crisis where public schools were given a special fund to set up the necessary infrastructure and purchase necessities like soap and sanitiser, the ministry says this time around the schools should put the special education grant to use.

“Our classrooms are packed, and that might be a major problem,” State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, said. “Regarding some of these issues, teachers must be accommodating. For instance, if the weather permits, they can teach outside.”

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