“The Maltese Diabetes Association wishes to reiterate and emphasize the importance of having a qualified nurse in each school. The Association has been dealing with this problem at each scholastic year, being reassured on several occasions that the matter will be addressed, however, this is far from the case,” they said in a statement today.
“Consequently, every year we are faced with the same recurring issue resulting in children with diabetes not having the adequate medical support required,” they continued.
Their repeated calls come after a number of parents were told that their children’s medical needs could not be taken care of inside schools as there were no trained medical staff to administer tests and shots.
Educators were not able to administer the tests themselves either, as they had not been trained.
Parents of children with severe allergies, such as Type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, have since spoken out about their experiences.
The Association pointed out the timeliness of responding to medical emergencies, saying that if treatment is not given immediately it can have “serious repercussions on the health and well-being of youngsters”.
“The Association appeals to the authorities concerned to ensure that every educational institution in Malta has a qualified nurse throughout the duration of school hours.”
Saying that the on-site nurse would give parents and children “peace of mind”, they reiterated that this wasn’t some sort of “luxury but an important and vital necessity.”
“We need to be pro-active and not reactive,” they said. “This involves the well-being and health of young children living with a chronic condition – we, therefore, 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,” the Association concluded.