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Keeping children ‘Fit for School’

Simple, scalable and sustainable school health in the Philippines

Habib Benzian

Peer reviewers
  • Donald Bundy, World bank
  • Nilanthi de Silva, University of Kelaniya

Published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, August 2012

1 Fit

The Essential Health Care Programme (EHCP) is a successful response to a number of serious health problems facing Philippine children. Supported financially and technically by German Development Cooperation (GDC) since its beginnings, the programme uses simple, evidence-based interventions that can be delivered at low cost in elementary schools to reduce illness and missed days of school.

The essence of the EHCP lies in the everyday routines of elementary schools and day-care centres, as they apply the programme’s three interventions. Underlying these routines is the guiding principle that schools can and should provide a healthy environment and establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. Institutionalising healthy habits into daily life at an early age, when children are most receptive, avoids the more complex challenges of health education and behaviour change among adolescents and adults.

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