The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a fresh effort to minimise the spread of Dengue in schools, will next week launch a programme with new features including a mobile app to keep track of children suspected of having been infected, as more than 30% of those affected by Dengue last year were schoolchildren. A week-long programme to eliminate Dengue breeding sites gets under way in all schools on April 3, as chances of the disease spreading were high with the intermittent showers received during the past week. Principals are supposed to organise the programmes before the new school term opens as well.
The app has been developed by Mobitel, in collaboration with the MoE, the Ministry of Health, the University of Colombo and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. MoE Health & Nutrition Director Renuka Peiris told Education Times that information regarding the app has been sent to schools. "It is the principal or a teacher responsible for the task, who will be in charge. They have to update the information if a child suffers from Fever or Dengue, where they will monitor the spread of Dengue," she said. Ms Peiris said that, according to the requirement, the MoE will be able to alert Public Health Inspectors and the Medical Officer of Health, in addition to the Presidential Task Force and the Armed Forces, for their assistance to prevent the spread of Dengue. Students' parents too will be able to provide information through schools. "The objective of the programme is to determine the area affected, as soon as possible, and act accordingly," she said