(CMR) In the face of record measles outbreaks in the United States due to anti-vaccination movements; the Cayman Islands government is introducing mandatory health screening for children for the first time ever.
All students entering government or private schools in the Cayman Islands are now required to have health screenings this summer.
The screening includes a growth and development assessment, screening for vision and hearing, a dental assessment, the administration of necessary immunisations and obtaining a student’s personal medical history.
Noting that this includes students entering reception programmes, School Health Coordinator Nurse Carvell Bailey adds: “The Education Department mandates that these screenings must be completed before the new school year begins in September.”
Public Health Department staff will conduct the screenings which are free to all students. For those entering schools in West Bay and the Eastern districts, health screenings will take place at the district health centres from 3 to 28 June 2019.
For all other students, health screenings will take place at John Gray High School Medical Centre (nurse’s office) from 4 July to 16 August 2019.
Appointments can be made at the school the child will be attending. Nurse Bailey reminds parents and guardians that they need to accompany their children to the health screening. They should also bring the child’s immunisation record.
“Vaccines will be offered to children whose immunisations are not up-to-date. A health screening certificate will then be issued, which is to be taken to the child’s school,” she explained.
Parents may have their child’s health screenings done by a private doctor, as long as that doctor completes the school health screening forms provided by the Public Health Department.
The completed forms should be handed in at the John Gray High School Medical Centre (nurse’s office) between 4 July and 16 August, from 8.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. Outside of these dates, the forms can be taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Public Health Clinic.
Once the record has been received, a health screening certificate will be issued which must then be taken to the school that the child will be entering in September.
In Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, appointments for school entry screenings can be made by contacting Public Health Nurse Kedine Hyde at Faith Hospital on 948-2243/244-7643.
Detailed information sheets for parents and guardians are available at the schools. For more information, please contact Nurse Carvell Bailey on 244-2734 and 244-2648.