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Policy on HIV/AIDS

  1. 1.       PREAMBLE

Rondebosch East Primary School shall strive to protect the safety and health of children and youth in our care, as well as their families, our employees, and the general public. Staff members shall cooperate with all officials to promote these goals.

The evidence is overwhelming that the risk of transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is extremely low in school settings when current guidelines are followed. The presence of people living with HIV infection or diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) poses no significant risk to others in school or school extra-mural settings.

  1. 2.       INTRODUCTION

The policy covers education, discrimination, counseling, first aid and infection control.

  1. 3.       EDUCATION

The school will align itself with the National HIV/ AIDS policy and will endeavor to promote a comprehensive awareness programme. Learners will be educated regularly on HIV/Aids as prescribed by the National and Provincial education departments.  The formal education programme will be covered via the Life Orientation curriculum. Additional HIV/AIDS awareness programmes and co-curricular activities will focus attention of learners on the scourge of the disease in the South African context.

The essential elements of the education programme will include:-

3.1  Safety

3.2  Transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS

3.3  Myths surrounding HIV/AIDS

3.4  Avoidance measures, abstinence and protection

3.5  Behaviour and attitudes towards someone who is HIV positive

3.6  Universal precaution and basic first aid principles when dealing with bleeding

Training opportunities for new educators will be provided and they will be required to keep up to date with new developments around HIV. The assistance of NGO’s and the WCED will be sourced in this regard.

The purpose of the education programme regarding HIV/Aids is:

3.7  to help prevent the spread thereof in our own community and beyond,

3.8  to allay fears of the pandemic and to encourage responsible attitudes, and

3.9  to instill a non-discriminatory attitude towards people with HIV/AIDS

Learners with HIV/AIDS are expected to attend classes in accordance with statutory requirements for as long as they are able to do so effectively.

  1. 4.       DISCRIMINATION AND CONFIDENTIALITY

No learner, educator or support staff member will be compelled to disclose his/her HIV status to the school.  Voluntary disclosure would be encouraged, but confidentiality must be ensured.  Unauthorised disclosure of HIV/AIDS information could give rise to legal liability.

No learner, educator or support employee may be discriminated against with regards to admission or appointment, on account of his/her HIV/AIDS status.

  1. 5.       COUNSELLING

Should a learner or staff member reveal their HIV status as positive, the school will ensure the following:

Confidentiality

5.1  Support and counseling within the context of the school

5.2  Secure/ enlist the help of support organizations/  NGO’s to assist with counseling and support where this is

required.

  1. FIRST AID AND INFECTION CONTROL

Rondebosch East Primary will undertake to provide a sanitary environment and establish recommended routines for handling body fluids. The school will undertake to ensure that all staff dealing with first aid will have the necessary knowledge and skills to safely administer first aid. The appropriate number of staff will officially be trained in first aid, in line with the Occupational Health & Safety Act. The basis for advocating the consistent application of the universal precaution lies in the basic assumption that in situations of potential exposure to bodily fluids, everyone is potentially infected and all blood should be treated as such.

  1. PRECAUTIONS

7.1   Bleeding wounds, grazes and sores and open skin lesions should be cleaned and covered with non-porous

or  waterproof dressing and kept covered.

7.2    All blood i.e. large spills, old blood and blood stains must be handled with extreme caution.

7.3    Skin exposed to blood should be washed immediately with an antiseptic solution and clean, fresh water.

7.4    Blood splashes to the face should be flushed with clean, fresh water for at least three (3) minutes.

7.5    Skin, which has been broken through biting or scratching, should be cleaned and washed with an antiseptic

solution and covered with waterproof dressing.

7.6    Disposable bags or sanitary bins must be made available to dispose of sanitary towels.

7.7    Latex gloves or plastic bags will be worn for management of bleeding.

7.8    Any surface contaminated with body fluids must be cleaned with clean, fresh water and bleach.

7.9    All blood soiled material should be sealed in plastic bags and disposed of appropriately.

7.10  Instruments such as scissors should be washed and soaked for at least one (1) hour in bleach before re-

use.

7.11  All classrooms, sports locations, offices are to be equipped with first aid kits.  They must contain the

following:

One (1) pair disposable latex gloves

One (1) pair rubber gloves

Absorbent material, waterproof plasters, disinfectant, scissors, cotton wool, gauze tape, tissues, containers for water and a resuscitation mouth piece with which mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may be applied without contact being made with blood or body fluids.

7.12  First Aid kits must be kept in vehicles transporting learners and accompanying groups on outings or tours.

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