Around 8,200 preschoolers benefit from Happy Smiles for Healthy Kids Project

August 15, 2009 9:06 am 

MANILA, Aug. 15 — The Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Dental Association (PDA), and Lamoiyan Corporation recently launched a project that will surely put smiles to some 8,200 preschool kids in 86 schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, PDA President Dr. Leo Gerald De Castro and Lamoiyan Corporation CEO Dr. Cecilio Pedro signed into an agreement, the Happy Smiles for Healthy Kids project, which will bring to schools health intervention programs. The launch was held in Bagong Ilog Elementary School in Pasig City.

The project is under DepEd’s Essential Health Care Program (EHCP), which aims to improve students’ academic performance and reduce drop-out rate by addressing their health and dental concerns.

The event highlight was the turnover of EHCP packages to target beneficiaries. The package has a toothbrush, soap, and access to toothpaste. During the event, PDA also held oral education and oral examinations for pupils and parents.

The EHCP is a simple, cost-effective school-based health program of DepEd being implemented in public schools in partnership with the local government units, the private sector and other community stakeholders.

Lamoiyan Corporation,is a Filipino brand and maker of Hapee Toothpaste.

PDA is comprised of 156 licensed dentist members involved in the development of workable oral health programs in public elementary schools and communities. The goal is to increase their level of oral health care awareness thus decreasing the incidence of dental caries.

Based on a recent Nationwide Oral Health Survey (NOHS) initiated by the Department of Education some 97 percent of six-year old Filipino school children have poor dental habits, resulting to learning difficulty.

DepEd’s Adopt–A School Program and Health and Nutrition Center are the lead government agencies in the ECHP. (PNA)

LBV/HCT

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