Every school should have its own qualified nurse, diabetes association says, but union disagrees

Maltese Diabetes Association renews call to have school nurses stationed in all educational institutions • MUMN says proposal 'makes no sense'

The association said that nurses are essential to cater for emergency situations such as episodes of low blood sugar levels
The association said that nurses are essential to cater for emergency situations such as episodes of low blood sugar levels

Having qualified nurses stationed at schools is not a luxury but an “important and vital necessity”, the Maltese Diabetes Association has said on the need for having qualified nurses in schools.

The association was reacting to reports of a parent of a child with diabetes who had been told that no school officials would administer any medication to their child due to lack of training. Previously, another situation had also been brought to light where parents of a child with severe allergies were told to keep their child at home for similar reasons

The diabetes association said the situation occurred at the beginning of each scholastic year, despite the multiple recurrences that the matter would be addressed. “Consequently, every year we are faced with the same recurring issue resulting in children with diabetes not having the adequate medical support required.”

The association said that nurses are essential to cater for emergency situations such as episodes of low blood sugar levels, which they highlighted if are not treated or handled immediately could have “serious repercussions on the health and well-being of youngsters living with type 1 diabetes.”

“The Association, therefore, appeals to the authorities concerned to ensure that every educational institution in Malta has a qualified nurse throughout the duration of school hours. This will offer peace of mind to the parents and children living with type 1 diabetes that emergency medical situations are being addressed immediately,” the association said.

It called for a proactive response to the health of young children living with the chronic condition. “We need to ensure that all our educational institutions have the necessary structures in place, including a qualified school nurse. We surely cannot wait for an unfortunate accident to occur to hopefully take action. We, therefore, hope our appeal and those of other parents speaking in the media does not fall on deaf ears.”

MUMN reacts

The Malta Union of Midwives & Nurses President, Paul Pace told MaltaToday that the association’s request was “impossible,” and “didn’t make any sense.”

Pace said with the current shortage of nurses, it would be a “waste of resources,” that the country could not afford.

He said that a tangible solution would be to have at least one person at each school trained in first aid, adding that in serious cases an ambulance should be called. 

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