Kasama ba purga? DOH to give free health services to WV public schools students

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Some 1.6 million students in public schools in Western Visayas stand to avail of free health services this school year, the Department of Health Region 6 said.

The DOH-6 said the free services in its initiative with the Education and Interior Departments include immunization, iron supplement and deworming.

“This is an original initiative in Western Visayas to be cost-effective in terms of operations and administrative concerns in (the delivery of) free health services,” DOH-6 Family Health and Nutrition Cluster head Dr. Renilyn Reyes said.

At the launching rites were DepEd City Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Michell Acuyong, DILG Bacolod City Director Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag, Councilor Em Ang and City Health Officer Ma. Carmela Gensoli.

She added the school-based health-related services integrate the government health strategies to address vaccine-preventable diseases, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and anemia among schoolchildren.

Reyes said this is a big advantage for the parents and students as it is not just for their health, but also for students to become better learners”.”

Under the program, the students may avail of school-based immunization, weekly iron folic acid, and national school-based deworming.

Immunization includes measles-rubella and tetanus-diphtheria vaccines for 123,771 Grade 1 pupils and 155,314 Grade 7 students while some 78,981 Grade 4 females aged 9 to 13 will avail of human papillomavirus vaccines for cervical cancer prevention.

The first dose of these vaccines will be administered in July 2018 and the second dose in February 2019.

For the iron supplement program, which aims to prevent iron deficiency anemia among female learners, the DOH-6 is targeting 118,350 students in Grades 7 to 10.

For deworming, 1.6 million students from Kinder to Grade 12, aged 5 to 18, will receive 500 mg of Mebendazole or 400 mg of Albendazole twice a year — the first round in July and second, in January.