DAGUPAN CITY – In strengthening the Alagang Balon Dagupan initiative, the city government, through its City Health Office (CHO) launched the Junior Health Advocate program at West Central Elementary School I on June 28.
The program, which will be implemented in all public schools in the city, seeks the youth’s involvement and participation in health awareness by appointing junior health advocates in all classrooms of the public schools.
Responsible for making sure their fellow classmates are healthy and free from illnesses, the chosen grade school students are also tasked in bringing their fellow classmates’ health concerns to their respective teachers.
Sick students will now be able to seek treatment easily, with the city’s health center being able to respond quickly through the direct line shared with all public school teachers in the city.
The first of its kind here and in Pangasinan, the program seeks to raise health awareness among the youth as well as encourage them in voicing out their respective health concerns.
Dwelling on the theme, “Kabataan, aktibo sa pagsulong ng kalusugan”, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez in her message, said that the idea for the program was formulated during one of her visits to the public schools, when some students raised concern over the health of their parents.
Fernandez also disclosed her plans to increase the city’s budget that will be allotted to the health of the children in the city.
“This will be one of my major programs that I will implement and focus on.” Fernandez added.
Meanwhile, City Health Officer Dr. Ophelia T. Rivera disclosed that the students named as Health advocates will be the city’s partners in expanding the health services in the city.
“We are trying to train them at a young age. We are giving them roles that will help them realize how important health is, which would develop them to be more health-conscious,” said Rivera.
In the same occasion, Rivera gave the junior health advocates lecture on ways to avoid the dengue virus.
A feeding program was also conducted during the program launch.
As part of their campaign against goiter, the city handed out packs of free iodized salt to the students.
The children were also able to receive free soap, alcohol and insect repellent, courtesy of the sponsor Procter & Gamble Philippines. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)