HFMD spot checks at enrichment centres

PHOTO: HFMD spot checks at enrichment centres

SINGAPORE - Starting from this week, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) spot checks will be conducted weekly at private enrichment centres with preschool to primary school children.

The checks, performed by the Ministry of Health, were previously conducted only at preschools and childcare centres with children diagnosed with HFMD, The Straits Times reported.

The new move is targeted towards fighting the record number of children who have come down with the disease in recent weeks, with 1,590 children falling ill with HFMD in the week which ended on April 28.

Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor, who announced the new measures, noted that the current outbreak is a milder from of HFMD.

However, the high number of cases remains a cause for concern, she said.

The only way to control the outbreak is to have early detection and isolation of cases, as well as maintaining very high levels of environmental and personal hygiene, she said.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) will also be launching educational campaigns to curb the spread of HFMD.

She was speaking at the launch of a revamped health framework for preschools yesterday.

The new framework, called Cherish Junior, is to promote good hygiene among preschoolers, and does so through a toolkit introduced to parents and teachers.

The programme, which also appoints student health ambassadors, aims to rope in 10 per cent of the estimated 1,400 preschools here by end 2012. By 2015, it is hoped that 30 per cent of preschools will be certified under the framework.

So far, 91 preschools have applied to be certified under the programme.