TB screening begins at Bukit Batok pre-school
A PRE-SCHOOL in Bukit Batok started screening children and staff for latent tuberculosis (TB) yesterday after a teacher was diagnosed with the disease.
Little Greenhouse's deputy chief operations officer Ruth Kua told The Straits Times that the female teacher had reported sick last Thursday, though she did not show any symptoms of coughing or fever before that.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the TB diagnosis with the school last Friday afternoon.
"Our children's health is always our priority. Without delay, we fixed an appointment with an MOH officer to assess the school environment and on Saturday morning, we fumigated and sanitised the whole centre," Ms Kua said.
The actions taken covered fans, air-conditioners, furniture and toys in the centre.
Over the weekend, teachers also called parents to inform them about the situation and the steps being taken.
The centre, in Bukit Batok Street 31, has 104 pre-school children aged between two months and six.
An assessment by MOH was carried out on Monday and consent forms for the screening were given to parents the next day.
Yesterday morning, the MOH's TB Control Unit conducted blood tests on the first group of 80 children, who are younger and more vulnerable.
The remaining children will undergo the tests tomorrow.
Twenty staff members will also be screened.
Said Ms Kua: "This morning, the parents came by to drop off their children as usual.
"Not many of them were concerned and, instead, they were appreciative that we had updated them immediately."
She reported "close to full attendance" at the centre, which has not received instructions to close so far. She added that the school is monitoring the health of the children closely and there has been no signs of any of them falling ill.
The school will be terminating the contract of the teacher, who taught Kindergarten 1 classes at the centre for more than a year.
"This is for the safety of our children since she may have the disease active in her even after she has recovered," she said.
As a follow-up measure, parents will be able to contact the TB Control Unit for X-rays to be taken of their children.
The costs will be fully subsidised by MOH.