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Tawi-Tawi Joins School Hygiene Drive
By ALI G. MACABALANG, Manila Bulletin Online, September 2, 2012, 6:11pm
COTABATO CITY – The province of Tawi-Tawi has joined a global venture promoting among school children in more than 30 Philippine provinces healthy habits to improve class attendance and academic performance, according to international sponsor-agencies.
The Essential Health Care Program (EHCP), an internationally recognized venture, was launched in the capital town of Bongao over the weekend by Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali and officials of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and German partner, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), EHCP officials said.
Sahali signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with officials of the Department of Education of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) and the Fit for School, a Filipino non-government organization (NGO) assisting the DepEd in the EHCP implementation, project media liaison Jennylyn Aguinaldo said.
Host officials welcomed the project, saying it would augur well in Tawi-Tawi’s archipelagic state that poses health service providers difficulty in reaching out to villagers, especially children.
The EHCP is a component of AusAID’s long-term education assistance to the ARMM provinces including Tawi-Tawi. It consists of three interventions – daily hand-washing with soap, regular tooth-brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and bi-annual deworming activity.
The supplies for the daily activities are provided by the foreign partner agencies to children in schools identified by host officials, while the DepEd, through the teachers, orients the recipients on three EHCP basic interventions, project officials said.
In Tawi-Tawi, the program will initially be implemented in five model schools, targeting 3,000 children during School Year 2012-2013.