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Int Dent J. 2010 Apr;60(2):85-93.

Essential health care package for children--the 'Fit for School' program in the Philippines.

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Department of Education, Health and Nutrition Centre, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, Philippines.


High prevalence of poverty diseases such as diarrhoea, respiratory tract infection, parasitic infections and dental caries among children in the developing world calls for a return to primary health care principles with a focus on prevention. The 'Fit for School' program in the Philippines is based on international recommendations and offers a feasible, low-cost and realistic strategy using the principles of health promotion outlined in the Ottawa Charter. The cornerstone of the programme is the use of school structures for the implementation of preventive health strategies. 'Fit for School' consists of simple, evidence-based interventions like hand washing with soap, tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste and other high impact interventions such as bi-annual de-worming as a routine school activity for all children visiting public elementary schools. The programme has been successfully rolled-out in the Philippines covering 630,000 children in 22 provinces and it is planned to reach 6 million children in the next three years. The programme is a partnership project between the Philippine Department of Education and the Local Government Units with support for capacity development activities from the German Development Cooperation and GlaxoSmithKline.

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