In collaboration with Primary Health Care and Pediatric Endocrinology department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC),
Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), held an advanced two-day course for school nurses this week. The course, which ran on 22 and 23 February, was attended by 45 school nurses, who supervise a total of 215 students with diabetes.
Dr Abdullah Al Hamaq, QDA Executive Director, stated: “Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and teenagers, and since children spend most of their day at school, there should be someone who is fully aware of the symptoms of diabetes and its complications to be able to provide the best care for students with diabetes. That is why QDA is working with schools and parents to reach a healthy and secure environment for children.”
He added, “The course reinforces our role and commitment towards children with diabetes, even when they are at school. By supporting school nurses with the latest information and methods to improve their skills, QDA is effectively improving students’ lives.”
The course included many sessions relating to “type 1″ diabetes, the insulin system and its types, and how to adjust insulin dose. There were other sessions that raised issues about high and low blood sugar and how to handle such cases at schools. The role of the school nurse, nutrition and sports was also discussed to help students manage their condition.
Another session looked at the psychological aspect of diabetes, run the by HMC psychiatry Department. Nurses were taught how to manage the different stages that students with diabetes go through, and when to communicate with the parents.
The nurses were also trained on how to apply QDA’s ‘Students with Diabetes Medical Plan at School’ policy. Supported by the Paediatric Endocrinology Department at HMC, the course emphasised the importance of students with diabetes having regular blood sugar tests and administering the glucagon injection if necessary.
QDA supports the ‘Rights of Students with Diabetes’ program by setting plans, printing posters, booklets and blood sugar tests cards, and providing free blood sugar testing machines to each school that has students with diabetes.
Dr Al Hamaq concluded: “Through this program, we are mobilising our efforts and urging decision-makers within schools to create a safe environment for student with diabetes; enabling them to succeed in all academic and health aspects. This can be achieved by applying the ‘Students with Diabetes Medical Plan at School’ and by being fully committed to perform the responsibilities highlighted by QDA. In time, we hope these responsibilities are endorsed by authorised institutions.”
He added, “A law enforcing our recommendations would provide all the necessary tools to take care of school students with diabetes, as well as ensure that all parties are aware of the schools’ responsibilities and duties towards the students.”