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Rosario Central School was the first model school to implement DepEd's EHCP in Northern Samar. Through the leadership of Dr. Gertrudes Mabutin, the school was able to build several low-cost wash facilities that helped schoolchildren establish daily handwashing and toothbrushing habits.
In 2012, Lenore Salor took over as head of the school and was endorsed by Dr. Mabutin, Rosario CS School Nurse Fe Bacuetes, and division of Northern Samar Medical Officer Dr. Warren Otadoy to continue the program.
Through her determination and ingenuity, Salor gathered the support and commitment of the teachers, parents, and community to bring implementation to another level – to install a water tank to replace the rain catchment, lobby for secure water source, and to build durable concrete wash facilities.
“Mahirap magkasakit (getting sick is a difficult ordeal). Handwashing will help our children a lot. [Handwashing] can be used by pupils to avoid getting infectious diseases,” said Salor, sharing the main reason behind their efforts.
To fund this vision, the school partnered with the GPTA headed by Edwin Depiña to set up the Mr. and Ms. Nutrition 2012 pageant. The event raised more than Php 100,000 plus donations from the community. The funds were immediately used for the wash facility and installation of potable water and sound system to broadcast the school's own handwashing song written by the teachers.
The success of the first pageant encouraged the GPTA to set up another one, this time for the Mr. and Ms. United Nations held in October.
Salor described the efforts of school and the community as “moving heaven and earth to make [the] dream come true.”
“[In] a period of 6 months, we [achieved] our dream– a handwashing facility that can accommodate 625 pupils in one shot,” said the school head.
Aside from the developments brought by the fundraising activities, she and the teachers decided to improve the school in other aspects too.  A sea of golden stalks can be viewed from the back windows of the main classrooms, the farm plot used by the GPTA head to grow rice, with a portion of the harvest given to the school for the feeding program. Pupils now use concrete walk paths, dotted with plants and painted with bright colors, to get from one part of the school to the other.
Beyond the pageants, Salor credits the school’s transformation to her partners – the parents, GPTA officials, barangay officials, and the Health and Nutrition Section personnel headed by Dr. Warren Otadoy. These partners are always present and ready to share their experience to visitors who study their best practices.
EHCP implementation memos issued by former SDS Dr. Thelma Cabadsan-Quitalig and current SDS Dr. Ronelo Al K. Firmo as well as moral support from District Supervisor Eleanor Bido has alsobeen a big help to the school’s progress.
“People in the community [continue to give] their full support and cooperation. . . [for] this project that will surely benefit the schoolchildren,” said Salor.
Should there be a contest for EHCP implementation hosted by the local DepEd District, Rosario Central School may just be a winning contender for the title thanks to the strong community commitment and dedicated school head and staff.**
EHCP in Northern Samar was made possible through the leadership of DepEd and the support of UNICEF and Fit for School.
DepEd, through the Health and Nutrition Center, led the planning, monitoring, and implementation of the program. UNICEF provided the kick-start materials for Rosario Central School, which included toothbrush, soap, and bottled toothpaste. Fit for School provided capacity building to DepED school heads and health personnel in the province of Northern Samar.
Rosario Central School was the first model school to implement DepEd's EHCP in Northern Samar. Through the leadership of Dr. Gertrudes Mabutin, the school was able to build several low-cost wash facilities that helped schoolchildren establish daily handwashing and toothbrushing habits.

In 2012, Lenore Salor took over as head of the school and was endorsed by Dr. Mabutin, Rosario CS School Nurse Fe Bacuetes, and division of Northern Samar Medical Officer Dr. Warren Otadoy to continue the program.

Through her determination and ingenuity, Salor gathered the support and commitment of the teachers, parents, and community to bring implementation to another level – to install a water tank to replace the rain catchment, lobby for secure water source, and to build durable concrete wash facilities.
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Fit for School bids farewell and the best of luck to Executive Director Alexander Schratz, who resigned from his post effective April 17, 2013.

Under Schratz's leadership, FIT grew from a staff of 18 to a team with 30-plus members. A UNICEF partnership for nationwide EHCP implementation was established. Schratz also helped pave the way for EHCP expansion to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under AusAID and GIZ. A WASH component was added to support EHCP for the ARMM expansion.

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The earlier a child learns effective hygiene habits such as handwashing and toothbrushing, the greater the chances that the child grows up healthy and protected from diseases such as diarrhea, intestinal worms, dental caries, and respiratory infections.
This was emphasized during the two-day Seminar-Workshop on Early Learning and Integration of WASH in Day Care Program attended by Mankayan daycare workers. The enhancement training workshop held first week of March in Baguio City was spearheaded by the Early Childhood Care & Development Council in partnership with the local government of Mankayan.
UNICEF Philippines WASH specialist Jon Villasenor led the discussion on water and sanitation in school while Fit for School–PH Coordinator Jun Figueroa shared how DepEd's Essential Health Care Program can be easily adapted in the day care setting.
"The Day Care Workers together with the parents and the community have to make sure that group wash facilities are available in all day care centers," said Figueroa during his presentation.
Sanitation, water access, and water supply have to be considered since a supportive environment is needed to create a lasting positive behavioral change for daycare pupils, he stressed.
DepEd's EHCP integrates handwashing and toothbrushing activities in the class schedule. This ensures that the pupils follow a daily routine, another factor that aids habit development. These activities combined with twice yearly deworming have been proven effective in keeping children healthy, pain-free,and present in school.
Figueroa said that the group activity format of the interventions add a fun element to learning, adding that this makes young children "look forward to [EHCP activities] daily with anticipation and excitement."
The workshop also included a simulation of group handwashing and toothbrushing activities for the participants to further understand the concept behind DepEd's EHCP.**
The earlier a child learns effective hygiene habits such as handwashing and toothbrushing, the greater the chances that the child grows up healthy and protected from diseases such as diarrhea, intestinal worms, dental caries, and respiratory infections.

This was emphasized during the two-day Seminar-Workshop on Early Learning and Integration of WASH in Day Care Program attended by Mankayan daycare workers. The enhancement training workshop held first week of March in Baguio City was spearheaded by the Early Childhood Care & Development Council in partnership with the local government of Mankayan.

UNICEF Philippines WASH specialist Jon Villasenor led the discussion on water and sanitation in school while Fit for School–PH Coordinator Jun Figueroa shared how DepEd's Essential Health Care Program can be easily adapted in the day care setting.

Read more...