A parent of a child with diabetes has been told that no school officials would administer any medication to their child due to a lack of training, just a week after parents of a severely allergic child were told to keep their child at home for similar reasons.
“My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes around six months ago,” Jonathan Abela told Lovin Malta.
“Her body is unable to produce insulin – a hormone the body uses to use the sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream,” he explained.
“To counter this effect, TD1 patients have to administer insulin via a small injection in the fat beneath the skin, multiple times a day, as well as check their blood glucose levels several times daily by means of a small finger prick test.”
However, these insulin injections and finger-prick tests have become an issue due to the fact that no educators are trained in carrying out these tasks.
“At the moment we are enrolling our daughter to a public school and are finding the process very difficult and problematic mostly because there are no nurses or health officials on the premises,” Abela said.
“I cannot believe that in 2019 we do not have a school nurse in every public school.”
He referred to the recent earring saga which got Education Minister Evarist Bartolo’s attention.
“It hurts to see that such issues are not being tackled, however, the use of an earing reached nationwide coverage where the minister made an intervention in less than 24 hours,” he said.
Talking about the procedures his daughter needed, he couldn’t believe that schools were unable to provide this simple service.
“All of the care I have mentioned is very, very easy to perform, however, no one is willing to take the responsibility of performing this,” he said. “This means that these kids are left in a situation where their condition is not properly managed during school hours even though it would be simple to do so, just because of the lack of a school nurse, causing damage which would be simple to avoid.”
Unfortunately, Abela is not the only father of a child with TD1 to be facing these difficulties, he said. While they have tried to raise awareness on what they are facing, he said their calls have fallen “on deaf ears”.
Do you have any experience with a child’s medical issues not being considered in Malta? Let us know in the comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak in confidentiality.