The Essential Health Care Package (EHCP) combines three evidence-based preventive interventions to increase child health: Daily Handwashing with soap, Toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste and Bi-annual deworming.
A High Impact Solution and Cost-Effective Package
Simple as these interventions might seem, they are powerful allies in the reduction of key health indicators such as the rates of infectious diseases (by 30 to 50%) and the percentage of dental caries increment (40 to 50%). Furthermore, these health improvements lead to better school attendance and performance, thus helping governments achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Apart from improving the health of Filipino school children, EHCP also aims to make a positive change in children’s personal hygiene habits. By including handwashing and toothbrushing in the everyday school schedule, it is hoped these activities will become part of the children’s lifelong daily routine.
The material cost of EHCP per child per year is only PhP 25.00 (US$ 0.50), the amount needed to purchase soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and two deworming tablets. The simplicity of EHCP’s approach, its cost-effectiveness, and its impressive results in terms of health-outcomes has attracted support from decision makers. In addition, the program’s lean and flexible management model makes it easy to adapt and change to suit different settings.
EHCP has already been successfully implemented in 23 provinces of the Philippines and is now being scaled-up to a national program. Currently, EHCP benefits more than 900,000 children.