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PIA Press Release
2008/02/09

Essential health care package benefits 6,500 pupils in Mt. Province

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province (9 February) -- A total of 6,500 elementary pupils of pilot schools from the province's ten municipalities will benefit from the "Essential Health Care Package for Filipino Children" (EHCP).

Gov. Maximo B. Dalog said this project is sponsored by GTZ Foundation and it is being adopted in FOURmula One 16 provinces in the Philippines of which Mt. Province is included.

Thirteen governors including Dalog signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the program that will provide each pupil a piece of toothbrush, toothpaste and soap for use in the school. It also include de-worming.

Dalog said counterpart of the province is its commitment to continue the program in 2009 where all pupils should be included. The province will be allotting P25.00 per pupil for the purchase of a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.

Counterpart of the school with the help of the barangay officials and the Parents- Teachers-Community Association is the construction of a dental throw and the provision of water to the school.

"We have been talking about health affecting our children but oral health has not been given attention. It is hope that in the end, the school will handle and sustain the program with the pupils and parents," said Dalog.

GTZ, Inwent and WHO Collaborating Center together with experts from the College of Public Health, UP Manila are offering a two-day Capacity Building activity to two DepEd and two LGU representatives per province to be oriented about the concept, the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the EHCP. The materials will be provided for immediate implementation so that the course participants can implement what they have learned. A second workshop shall be conducted after six months for follow-up support.

Exposure to school based daily hand-washing, fluoride tooth brushing and twice-a-year de-worming will familiarize children with healthy habits and is expected to have an impact on awareness concerning water and sanitation issues in the communities and hygiene practices in family-life.

GTZ, InWent and WHO CC offer partnership to the provinces whose Governors will declare their intention and commitment to allocate funds to expand the EHCP to at least 90 percent of the public elementary schools in the province from 2009 onward. (PIA MP) [top]

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