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Philippine News Digest 120

July 6, 2007 · 


-27 Davao students downed after eating stale crackers
-Network of medicine vendors proves health care affordable
-DepEd resumes medical, dental checkup for schools

27 Davao students downed after eating stale crackers
By Dennis Jay Santos
Mindanao Bureau
Last updated 02:51pm (Mla time) 07/06/2007

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — At least 27 pupils at a public school here were brought to the hospital after eating stale crackers Friday morning.

Jenielito Atillo, spokesperson of the Department of Education (DepEd) here, said the children, all from the Pichon Elementary school in Tibungco district, suffered stomachaches and dizziness.

However, the children were declared “out of harm’s way” after they were treated at the Davao Medical Hospital.

Atillo said a Grade 3 student, whose parents make a living as scavengers at a dumpsite in Calinan district, brought with him two packs of Graham crackers and sold it to other children.

The crackers had an expiration date of June 14, 2007.

“The child thought he could still sell it to his classmates,” Atillo said.

Teacher Judith Eslit said among the students who fell ill were those who bought the crackers at P2 each.

“The[se] children might have shared it with their classmates and friends,” Eslit said.

Network of medicine vendors proves health care affordable
By Tonette Orejas
Last updated 04:26am (Mla time) 07/01/2007

CASTILLEJOS, Zambales—From memory, Shirley Navarro recited the prices of generic medicines that are neatly stacked in a cabinet her father made out of scrap lumber.

“Amoxicillin is P2, paracetamol is 50 centavos, mefenamic acid is P1, salbutamol is 50 centavos, ibuprofen is P1 and Vitamin B complex is 90 centavos,” the 26-year-old mother said.

On the list tacked on the door were 80 or so medicines. The prices of these as of Friday, Navarro said, were more than 10 times cheaper than those of generic or branded drugs sold in commercial drugstores.

“Medicines here cost much cheaper than those sold in the lowland,” she told the Inquirer, referring to the upland resettlement of Balaybay here where she and 1,700 families have lived after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.

The store that Navarro, eight women and a village council member keep here is called “Botika Natin sa Nayon (Our Drugstore in the Village).”

The medicines are not only affordable. These are available 24 hours.

“This helps us a lot,” she said of the venture they started in April.

If the residents have to buy medicines, they have to travel some 10 km to the town proper or pay P13 for a one-way ride by tricycle.

Former Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II, who started this social enterprise, said as of May 31, there are 213 more of these outlets throughout Zambales.

DepEd resumes medical, dental checkup for schools
By Alexander Villafania
Last updated 11:14am (Mla time) 07/06/2007

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is again implementing its universal medical and dental check-up (UMDC) program for public school students.

The UMDC, to be implemented this month through the DepEd’s Health and Nutrition Center and the Adopt-A-School Program secretariat, would be expanded to enable the implementation of Executive Order Number 595 or the Health Education Reform.

The UMDC allows the DepEd to establish data on the health and nutritional status of school children. This data provides the basis for planning and the sourcing of funds for school feeding and health services.

The program also mobilizes local health providers to ensure the examination of a specific population and the treatment and referral of medical cases.

The UMDC was launched in 2005 as part of the National School Health Maintenance Drive for elementary students.

The program is conducted by school health and nutrition personnel together with volunteer private and public health professionals from various medical and dental associations.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the program complements the government’s efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty, especially in poor, remote provinces

“The expansion of our UMDC represents the success of DepEd’s active involvement in the improvement of the delivery of basic education in our country and the lives of the people as well,” Lapus said.


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