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The local government of Valencia City and the Department of Education (DepEd) signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday, March 17, for the implementation of DepEd's Essential Health Care Program (EHCP).

DepEd’s EHCP integrates group handwashing and toothbrushing in the public school curriculum to help children build lasting hygiene habits. Schoolchildren also undergo twice yearly deworming sessions as part of the program.

Program Support
The program was initially supported by the provincial government of Bukidnon in 2012. This provided hygiene kits for 39% of the public elementary schoolchildren in Valencia City.

The recent MOA increased program coverage to 32,705 schoolchildren and strengthened the collaboration between the city’s LGU and local DepEd division.
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Through the generosity of GIZ and Committee of German Doctors, Fit for School, a non-government organization, donated 36 boxes of hygiene kits that will benefit displaced families affected by the crossfire between Philippine soldiers and separatist militants in Zamboanga City.
With more than 100,000 individuals from conflict-affected villages placed in evacuation centers, diarrhea and flu become real risks especially for young children.
Fit for School and partners swiftly responded to help prevent the outbreak of the child-related diseases in the temporary shelters.
Representing Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle "Beng" Climaco, Councilor Myra Abubakar led the ceremonial turnover of hygiene kits in Tetuan Elementary School, which serves as a home for displaced families.
Abubakar said the hygiene kits, which include toothpaste, toothbrush and bath soap, will significantly reduce cases of diarrhea and flu in the centers.
Fit for School Regional Project Officer Noel Tarrazona also conducted a personal hygiene education drive to demonstrate the proper way of handwashing and brushing of teeth.
This was in line with Fit for School, UNICEF, and Abubakar’s plans to strengthen water, sanitation, and hygiene in day care centers in Zamboanga City to address the growing cases of dental carries and diarrhea in preschools and day care centers.
Tarrazona cited that 97% of Filipino children suffer from dental carries and, toothache is the leading cause of absenteeism in public schools.
Through the generosity of GIZ and the Committee of German Doctors, Fit for School, a non-government organization, donated 36 boxes of hygiene kits that will benefit displaced families affected by the crossfire between Philippine soldiers and separatist militants in Zamboanga City.

With more than 100,000 individuals from conflict-affected villages placed in evacuation centers, diarrhea and flu become real risks especially for young children.

Fit for School and partners swiftly responded to help prevent the outbreak of the child-related diseases in the temporary shelters.

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Day care pupils from Barangay Socorro Day Care Center demonstrated group handwashing with soap in their newly built handwashing facility as they celebrated Global Handwashing Day 2013.

The event is the joint effort of the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Early Childhood Care & Development Council, Australian AID, UNICEF, Fit for School, German Development Cooperation, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKlein, and Unilever.

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