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Zazali Musa
Monday, May 26, 2014

Malaysia

Checks on kindies to stop outbreak of meningitis

The Star/ANN | Zazali Musa | Monday, May 26, 2014

File photo of a childcare centre in Putrajaya.

PASIR GUDANG- Spot checks will be conducted at the kindergartens and childcare centres in Johor to ensure its cleanliness.

State Women and Family executive councillor Asiah Ariff said the move was to prevent another possible outbreak of meningococcal meningitis, which happened at the Jalan Ayer Molek detention centre in Johor Baru on Friday.

She said the state health department officers would visit the kindergartens and childcare centres to monitor the standard of hygiene at the premises to prevent the children from contracting it.

"We are not taking any chances and it is better to be safe than sorry, as we can prevent the outbreak if operators of the premises practise a high standard of cleanliness," said Asiah.

She was speaking to reporters after attending the state-level "Purple Walk" in conjunction with the International Women's Day celebration launched by Johor Mentri Besar's wife Datin Rosni Omar.

Asiah said attention would be given to the kitchen areas as well as the toilets.

"Operators must also monitor the body temperature of the children regularly and should immediately refer them to hospitals if they are having feverish symptoms," she added.

Asiah also hoped parents would not send their children to kindergartens or childcare centres if they are not feeling well and should instead get treatment.

She said the health department would also visit the women's prison to ensure that it was not overcrowded which could contribute to the spread of disease.

Eighteen detainees at the detention centre were found to be having fever and headaches, with two of them admitted to hospital for examination and treatment.

The other 16 have been isolated in a special cell in the centre.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by bacteria Neisseria meningitis and infects the membranes that cover the brain. It can be fatal or cause great harm without prompt treatment.

The infection can be passed from a carrier to another individual via droplets such as through coughs or sneezes.

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