SAUDI ARABIA

Scabies cases reach over 2,700 in Makkah

April 10, 2018
A worker comes out of a school building in Jeddah after sanitizing the premises. officials said as many as 77 medical teams are fighting the diseases and stop it from spreading to other areas. — Okaz photo
A worker comes out of a school building in Jeddah after sanitizing the premises. officials said as many as 77 medical teams are fighting the diseases and stop it from spreading to other areas. — Okaz photo

Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH
— Cases of scabies among students in Makkah have reached 2,762 according to the health officials in the holy city.

They said 2,156 cases were discovered in schools while 506 were detected at homes.

The officials said as many as 77 medical teams are fighting the diseases and stop it from spreading to other areas.

A number of parents questioned the absence of Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah from the scene though he should be among the first to visit the contaminated schools instead of depending on the reports conveyed to him by officials.

Muhammad Bin Hamza Khushaim, chairman of the health committee of the Shoura (Consultative) Council, dismissed the possibility of the council summoning the minister for questioning on the issue.

"We have never spoken in the council about this. Calling the minister to stand before the council is not considered at the time," he said.

Khushaim was surprised by the conflicting figures about the victims of the disease. "The number of the victims is not at all accurate. We hear sometimes that the scabies was contained in Makkah but some other times we hear that it has spread to other areas," he added.

A number of schools in Makkah have remained closed since the scabies was first detected on March 25.

The parents are complaining about the time for medication decided by the various health centers.

They said while some centers give their sons and daughters medical leaves of five days, others give them eight days.

The Kudai and Hijra health centers were overcrowded with boy and girl students waiting to be diagnosed.

Father of a student Ahmed Mahmoud Al-Asalami criticized the culture of reassurance being adopted by the health and education officials.

"The officials tell us that the situation is normal and that the disease is not fatal. It, however, remains to be a disease after all and should be contained," he said.

Father of Nawwaf Mohammed Hassan, another male student, criticized lack of antiseptics and disinfectants from the schools and said they only appear after the catastrophe has befallen.

Meanwhile, the department of health affairs in Riyadh announced that 16 cases of scabies were discovered in schools in the west of the city.

It said the cases were detected among 14 boys and two girls but said the situation was normal and there was no need to worry.

In Jazan, 19 cases were detected, according to Nabeel Ghawi, the spokesman of the department of health affairs.

He said the health teams visited about 70 schools consisting of 27 for boys and 43 for girls to spread awareness about the disease which targeted 2,790 male and 8,472 girl students in addition to 146 male and 360 female teachers.

In Hail, the department of education announced that three cases of scabies were discovered among one family.

Spokesman of the department, Arif Al-Shammari, said the cases were detected among two girl students, one in an elementary school and the other in a secondary school while their brother was studying at a primary school.


April 10, 2018
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