WaSH in day care, schools program gains headway PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:39

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) program, a collaborative effort of the City Government and the UNICEF gains headway as it penetrates 129 day care centers benefitting 6,300 pre-schoolers since it was introduced in the city in November 2014.

The program likewise is being implemented in 12 schools serving 26,334 elementary students in Zamboanga.

The WASH in day care centers and WASH in schools program jumpstarted with the creation of the Technical Working Group (TWG) initiated by Mayor Beng Climaco in 2014 when UNICEF first introduced the program to the city. Its goals are to address 3 concerns: 97% of Filipino children are suffering from dental carries, 67% are suffering from intestinal worms and 30% are malnourished.

Based on UNICEF studies, the root cause of these diseases are poor personal hygiene, lack of access to water and the absence of collaborative partnership between the local government units, Department of Educaiton, barangay officials, day care centers and parent groups.

The WASH in day care and schools program has targeted 20 day care centers but actually penetrated 129 day care centers; targeted to train 100 teachers but overshot its goal and trained 700 teachers; trained 280 instead of 100 day care workers and trained 115 instead of 98 barangay officials.  12 of the total 23 model schools targeted have been penetrated so far.

Aside from the trainings given to day care workers and teachers, the UNICEF also distributes hygiene kits for use of the different schools and day care centers.

The WASH program forms part of a bigger program on improving the delivery of early childhood care and development service and involves the daily group hand washing and tooth brushing activity in public day care centers and schools, twice yearly deworming and promoting access to water and sanitation as a human right.

The program in Zamboanga City is implemented through the TWG headed by City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos with City Social Welfare and Development Officer Socorro Rojas and CHO and CSWDO staff as members. Dr. Noel Tarrazona is the consultant contracted by the local government to advise the TWG on how to properly implement the WASH program in the city. — Sheila Covarrubias