Friday, January 04, 2008

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Announces Guide to MRSA is Translated Into 23 Languages to Reach More Parents

Friday, January 4, 2008 - BURBANK — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell held a news conference at Burbank High School to announce that A Parent's Guide to MRSA in California: What You Need to Know, an informative brochure produced by the California Department of Public Health, is now available in 23 languages – from Arabic to Vietnamese.

"It is important to provide information, dispel fears, answer questions, and most importantly, let students, parents, and school personnel know that there are simple precautions they can take to prevent incidents of MRSA," O'Connell said. "Part of this task is to ensure that this vital information is widely available to all Californians by providing it in as many languages as possible. I'd also like to express my appreciation to Claudia J. Erickson and the Department of Public Health for their permission to post and translate the text of this publication."

The document includes information regarding staph, especially Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and answers commonly asked questions posed by concerned parents and education officials about what could result in a serious illness if not promptly caught and treated. All the translated documents are available at the link below.

I was proud to represent California State PTA at this press conference. The translation into 21 of the languages beyond English and Spanish was prompted the request by a Jackie Amaya-Garcia, a parent activist at Burbank High School. That the state was able to create and make available all the translations within 6 weeks of the request - with the holidays in the middle - shows how powerful parent with a good idea can be!

My remarks:

Good morning, my name is Scott Folsom and I'm a member of the California State PTA Board of Managers and the former President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTA. My most important job, the most important job any of us will ever have, is that I'm a Parent.

M-R-S-A "Mursa" Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - antibiotic resistant staph - the "Superbug" it goes by lots of different names and is subject of lots of scary reporting in the media from 60 minutes to Oprah. It's a germ, it's a bad germ …and the two best tools to fight it are soap and water! The third best tool is Information and the good news here is that the information everyone needs to defeat the Superbug is now available in twenty-six different languages!

California is America's most cosmopolitan state; Greater LA is a cosmopolitan city - our kids and our parents speak those twenty-six languages and more - and they will get the word. California State PTA and the PTA Districts of LA County are glad to be a part and partner in this effort.

Mursa is a scary germ, but we don't need to be afraid …only to be aware. To be careful. To wash our hands and cough like Dracula (demonstrating the cough to the inside of the elbow) treat and put a bandage on scrapes and cuts. To take all the pills the doctor gives us. And wash our hands….again and again and again.

It's the stuff we were supposed to learn in kindergarten!

Link to A Parent's Guide to MRSA in California in all 23 languages.

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