In less than a month, the Department of Education (DepEd) plans to shift its approach as the school year of 2022-2023 begins. In a recent announcement, the department intends to implement full face-to-face classes starting November 2, 2022. Thus, Childhope Philippines launched a health information campaign to ensure Filipino street children have the medical assistance they need while participating in the organization’s provided health and learning programs.
Over the past two years of this COVID-19 pandemic, schools all over the globe had to think of better and safer ways to continue providing education to children. Gradually, facilities adapted to implemented protocols in order to secure and prioritize the welfare of students. This, especially here in the Philippines, gave birth to online classes. Nevertheless, not all children have enough resources and access to online learning, let alone the street children.
In anticipation of the return to face-to-face classes, big adjustments are expected to take place; from the number of modes of transportation to be used, to the learning materials and health care kits needed. This explains why Childhope aims to raise awareness to everyone on the significance of health information, especially to children who are more vulnerable in these situations.
What is Health Information?
Health information refers to a patient’s data about their health status. A detailed representation of this is their medical history, wherein records including previous diagnoses, procedures, and outcomes are compiled for clinical monitoring and follow-up check-ups. For the health records, these contain the following: laboratory results, clinical information, and physician’s notes and prescriptions, among others.
The health information system allows health care organizations to manage, analyze, and optimize patient treatment histories as well as to protect the privacy of other key data. These systems also allow health care providers to have a hand on information about macro environments such as community health trends.
A patient’s health information is determined by how their health has changed over the course of time. Having a hold of this can help doctors and patients weigh down which areas of their health needs improvement.
Health Information Campaign to Ensure the Safety of Street Children During COVID-19
With the academic year approaching, the health and safety of children nevertheless remain the primary concerns during these times. Childhope Philippines’ health information campaign supports the empowerment of volunteers and donors to continue gathering necessities and medical supplies for the street children to keep them safe from COVID-19.
This back-to-school health information campaign seeks to teach the organization’s schooled-children beneficiaries the importance of following the standard safety protocols such as how to wash their hands thoroughly, wear masks at all times, and practice social distancing in and out of school.
Children in the lower social classes are more prone to enduring the difficulties inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the constant increase unemployment rates and low income levels here in the Philippines, parents had to work twice as hard to sustain the needs of their families. As companies and other establishments encourage on-site work, parents leave their children at home unattended, leading them to more exposure when out in public areas.
Unfortunately, street children are not getting the much-needed support to continue their education and are thus left out of health prevention campaigns during this crisis. According to Childhope’s recent study, 48% of street children had respiratory illness but only 40% made efforts to seek medical attention because of misinformation due to lack of health campaigns.
For prevention of misinformation, health care sessions for street children and youth are necessary for them to be aware of the importance of healthcare and how it affects their daily lives. These sessions will empower street children by providing them with knowledge and some easy to follow guidelines on protecting their own health.
Recently, Childhope added in their primary health sessions the COVID-19 Prevention module as a health prevention campaign for their street children and youth clients who will go back to school this incoming school year. The project aims to teach and provide children with accurate information through fun and creative learning materials and sessions using the KalyEskwela mobile vans.
Childhope Philippines’ Health Programs
Having a healthy lifestyle motivates the hearts, minds, and bodies of humans to function well and be of service to the community. Sadly, not all Filipino families can maintain a healthy way of life. This motivated the Department of Health (DOH) to establish easier access for families in the lower classes to their diverse health programs.
As a non-governmental organization, Childhope’s health programs provide physical, emotional, and mental support for the health and safety of children, especially in the streets. These programs will improve not only their health, but also their quality of living.
Listed below are the major health programs by Childhope Philippines that coincide with their health information campaign:
Every child has the right to receive good quality education and adaptable learning experience. The purpose of this initiative is to deliver learning opportunities to children in the streets.
As mentioned above, KalyEskwela program conducts classes in mobile vans to lessen the travel complications and exposure of students to crowded areas. Trained street educators teach lessons through modules and visual aids for younger kids to understand their lessons better.
To fight against malnutrition, the rapid spread of COVID-19, and other rampant illnesses here in the Philippines, the organization visits indigent areas in Metro Manila every week to provide free medical services using mobile health clinics.
KliniKalye demonstrates transparent collation of health information from patients and does one-on-one consultations. Health volunteers focus on illness prevention while also educating patients on proper hygiene and diet.
Other than these programs, Childhope Philippines has been providing daily meals and snacks to students who have been without proper nourishment through Kalyenderia Mobile Soup Kitchen and #DeliveringHope Project. The organization’s goal is to combat malnutrition, mental health issues, and health concerns brought by the pandemic.
Moreover, Childhope offers psychosocial support carried by social workers, along with other health services such as medication distribution, referral assistance, and consultations under the KliniKalye Mobile Health Clinic.
Be an Advocate for Street Children by Ensuring Their Health and Safety at School
In times like these, it is imperative to go the extra mile in helping children fulfill their potential through our various programs, including health information campaigns. Our projects and initiatives have been successful in large part due to our kindhearted donors and partners who have supported us to keep our programs and projects running and—most importantly—help advocate for children’s health.
You can help us more by advocating for this health information campaign, by donating today or volunteering to strengthen the healthcare of street children to ensure their health and safety at school. Your support will open doors of opportunity for street children to achieve a brighter future and serve as a reminder that they are all valued. Let’s all work together to create safer school environments with fun and interactive learning.