Cotabato City (15 October 2014) – Six schools in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been given special citations today for their commendable implementation of the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP), a flagship government program that promotes handwashing, toothbrushing and deworming among school children.
The schools include the Kauran Elementary School and Sarmiento West Elementary School in Maguindanao, the Barith Elementary School and Ganassi Central Elementary School in Lanao del Sur, the Bato-Bato Central Elementary School in Tawi-Tawi, and the Harat Medina Central Elementary School in Marawi City.
The special citation is part of the celebration of the Global Handwashing Day, an event observed worldwide to help raise awareness on the importance of handwashing in promoting better health.
The EHCP is a school-based health program that combines daily handwashing with soap and water, toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste, and deworming that is being implemented through DepEd Order 001, Series of 2011.
ARMM Education Secretary Jamar Kulayan said school children need to be taught with proper handwashing to help them avoid communicable diseases.
He said the practice is cost effective and a significant and efficient health intervention.
Kulayan said ARMM presently has more than 400 public health nurses assigned in different public schools to see to the health care of both students and faculty.
The EHCP program is supported by the Australian government-funded Basic Education Assistance of Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM), which has included its expansion among its component programs.
DepEd-ARMM in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID, and Fit for School Incorporated, marked the Global Handwashing Day through a ceremonial handwashing activity to showcase and promote the significance of proper hygiene in the prevention of common diseases. (Bureau of Public Information)