Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire today attended the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Healthy and Safe Back to School Event graced by US Second Gentleman Mr. Douglas Emhoff, USAID Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Heather Variava, USAID Mission Director Mr. Ryan Washburn, Caloocan City Mayor Dale Malapitan, Metro Manila Center for Health Development Regional Director Dr. Gloria Balboa, and DepEd officials held at Gregoria De Jesus Elementary School, Caloocan City.
The event highlighted the close partnership between the US government and Philippine government, particularly on COVID-19 response, disease prevention and awareness campaign, TB awareness, and safe return of learners to face to face classes.
During the program, a storybook titled “Tibay ng Dibdib” featuring two students who are now TB survivors was also presented. The story is now integrated in the institution’ curriculum.
In his speech, US Second Gentleman Emhoff announced that the US government will continue to donate kits, equipment, and medicines and provide technical assistance to the Philippines to ensure that everyone, particularly the children, are protected against COVID-19, tuberculosis, and other diseases.
“Our future lies in the brilliance of today’s children, which is why it is imperative that that same whole-of-society approach is maximized to transform our schools and communities into settings that make the healthy choice the easy choice for every Filipino child. In ensuring the health and safety of our learners, we acknowledge that Filipino children spend significant amounts of their time in schools, making schools strategic settings for health promotion. Hence, to promote the health and well-being of our children, we aim to make schools the main focal point of all our health promotion and health education initiatives, making sure to integrate and make accessible all previously siloed health programs and services to ensure that our learners will be able to maximize them.” said OIC Vergeire.