The Primary Health Care Corporation’s (PHCC) School Health Department has completed the first evaluation of 1,054 students with asthma in 140 public schools as part of the implementation of the Asthma-Friendly Schools Programme, in co-operation with the Non-communicable Diseases Department.
The results showed that, of the 1,054 students with asthma, 644 were in primary schools, 227 in middle schools, and 183 in secondary schools. The percentage of Qatari students represented the largest among students with asthma with 70% (723 students). Preliminary results also showed that the parents of nearly 700 students did not provide the school health nursing with the treatment plan despite frequent communication and request of the school health nursing, while the parents of 363 students provided the health nursing with the treatment plan updated by the attending physician.
Further, the results showed that 998 of the students with asthma participate in the school’s sports activities partially or completely, while 41 of them do not participate in sports activities and 15 others are part of the school’s sports team. All students with asthma have attended educational and awareness sessions on asthma regarding the correct ways of using their medications and how to measure air flowing out of the lungs.
The application of the Asthma-Friendly Schools Programme targets all public school students, from Grade 1 through to Grade 12 on a yearly basis, to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for children with asthma in schools, identify and document such cases in schools and reduce exposure to triggers in the school environment. It also raises awareness among school staff, parents and students on asthma and encouraging students with asthma to participate in school activities, particularly physical activities.
The programme also aims to provide quick access to medication (asthma inhalers) available in the school’s nursing room for students with asthma and to professionally manage asthma attacks following clinical policies and protocols. The school nurses’ role involves identifying the students with asthma, communicating with parents, providing them with a treatment plan and obtaining their approval to give medicine at school. Following this, the nurse, uses the peak flow meter device to measure air flowing out of the lungs to later documenting the readings in the student’s e-health file system, as well as providing awareness and health education.
To ensure achieving the programme’s objectives, a training workshop was organised for all school health nurses on the implementation of this programme and the role of school nursing in it. All school health nurses were able to document the results of the first evaluation on the student’s e-health file system, which allows school health staff at PHCC, Hamad Medical Corporation, and Sidra Medicine to follow up on the student’s health status and the attending physician’s recommendations.
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