“Matuwid na Pamamahala Tungo sa ARMM na Masagana’t Mapayapa”

Friday, November 8, 2013

EHCP- An Inspiration

By Christine Tawasil Sangkula, RN

" I have to wash my hands first before eating", Keth Brian Rubio, grade 5 pupil of Batu-Batu Central School said one day at their home. His mother Amina A. Rubio, the Principal of Magsaggaw ES (MES) was surprised by his son's reaction when called for to take their lunch because it was so unusual for him to do so. When she asked him why the sudden change in his behaviour, he was proud to say that in their school they were taught to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Of course he was referring to Essential Health Care program (EHCP) being implemented in their school.

This inspired Mam Rubio to have the interest of implementing the program in her school and personally told Arnel N. Arias, the Fit for School project Officer and she even visited me at the office to inform me the same. Thus when the regional office sent the memorandum for the expansion of the program for Year 2 SY 2013-2014, Magsaggaw ES was one of the priorities.

Now after the initial validation was done and MES was officially chosen to be one among the ten (10) schools, Mam Rubio was so delighted. She and her teachers and staff started pulling out their initiatives and resources in order to come up with a WaSH facility that can accommodate 100-120 pupils all at the same time. Mam Rubio has laid down their plans and asked the Lady Mayor of Panglima Sugala, Madame Reggie Sahali-Generale for financial assistance for the construction of the facility and the response was in the affirmative.

Magsaggaw ES of Panglima Sugala District has been existing since July 1967. For this school year the total number of enrollees they have is 396 ( 213- male, 183- female). MES is slowlly rising and becoming a school to watch out for in the future.

Aside from EHCP implementation that will soon be started, another inspiring story is their volunteer Nurse, Raden A. Rene, a BSN graduate of Mahardika Institiute of Technology, Inc. (MIT) here in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi who was once my student. He volunteered as a school nurse with no compensation. He spends his own money for his daily fare in going to MES. He is yet to receive his allowance promised by the Municipal Local Government of Panglima Sugala this November, which he hopes will be for real. As a nurse he does assessment of pupils and keeps an individual record of school children.

While most nurses of DepEd Tawi-Tawi are enjoying their priveleges i.e. their political, familial connections with politicians and high ranking officials for a detailed status, here comes a new graduate who takes the courage to do the responsibilities that are supposed to be theirs. And Raden's presence in the school is an extra ordiinary help for the teachers because he also teaches Science and Health classes when at times the teacher is absent. He is a blessing to the pupils because in instances health problems or concerns arise he is there to respond. And he is a great partner of Mam Rubio in the implementation of EHCP. If I have my way I will recommend him for an item once he will make it in the Nurses' Board Examination this December.

ECHP, a flagship program of DepEd that focuses on three simple interventions of daily handwashing with soap, daily toothbrushing woth fluoride and bi-annual de-worming of school children is indeed making waves in Tawi-Tawi. Thanks to GIZ Fit for School for the support and assistance, for without them EHCP could have been just a dream, a memorandum left in the archives of DepEd. Credit is also due to the active and responsible Division Health and Nutrition Staff for the dedication and commitment to make things happen. To the stakehollders for their willingness and participation in the quest to make a difference in the lives of the school children of Tawi-Tawi.

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"Matuwid na pamamahala tungo sa ARMM sa masagana't mapayapa"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful ARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju ARMM na sambu maka salamat"

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