The Department of Health (DOH) gave one brand new unit of its Mobile Dental Vehicle (MDV) to the Department of Education in region 02 (DepED RO2).
The unit is part of DOH’s mandate dubbed as “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan” where quality health care is made more accessible to the poor and vulnerable population by ensuring the availability of functional static and mobile health facilities.
In a Memorandum from DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, it mentioned about the high prevalence rate (98%) of dental caries among school children in the country .A total of 20 MDVs were provided to DepED to be distributed to the regional offices for the oral health needs of children to all schools divisions within the region.
The DOH invested in the acquisition of MDVs, including equipment to cover the underserved communities as one of the activities related to Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
In an interview with Mrs. Edith Ubiña, DepEd RO2 Nutritionist-Dietician II stationed at the Education Support Services Division (ESSD), she explained the guidelines on the use and maintenance of the MDV.
According to Mrs. Ubiña, the Regional Office through the ESSD, which is also the counterpart of the Bureau of Learner Support Services (BLSS) of the Central Office, shall make sure that such mobile dental clinic will eventually be utilized according to purpose.
Mrs. Ubiña, referring to the provisions of the guidelines as an enclosure to DepED Memorandum No. 141, s. 2016, said that dentists and drivers who will use the MDV will be undergoing training and orientation provided by the DOH. “Only those who attended the training can use the MDV since such requirement forms part of the vehicle’s warranty,” says Ubiña. “The warranty shall be voided if damages are sustained due to improper vehicle usage,” she added.
The enclosure also states that Schools Division Offices (SDOs) must be allowed to use MDV whenever available and upon the approval of their request from the regional office. It further mentions of the need for a recording scheme to monitor schedule of MDV routing to SDOs to provide an equal opportunity of dental services among learners.