Pandemic preparedness

August 17, 2020

HEALTH experts, government authorities and even ordinary citizens agree that a pandemic, which is the worldwide spread of a new disease, affects more and takes more lives than an epidemic.

In fact, the most deadly pandemic in history was the Spanish flu of 1918, with the virus infecting an estimated one-third of the world’s population and killing between 20 and 50 million people.

And today’s COVID-19 pandemic continues to terrorize people across the globe, displacing millions of workers, including our migrant workers whose remittances help prop up the domestic economy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic when it became clear that the illness was severe and that it was spreading quickly over a wide area.
Thus, we doff our hat to an official of the House of Representatives for urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to make pandemic preparedness a part of the K-12 basic education curriculum.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the proposal aims to prepare our pupils and students for future disease outbreaks in the country.

The highly-articulate Herrera said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis “underscores the need for DepEd to develop a skills-based pandemic preparedness subject in kindergarten to Grade 12.

“Pandemic preparedness must be taught as early as kindergarten and up to Grade 12 if we want to create a culture of preparedness and infection control in homes and schools,” she added.

Like other well-meaning Filipinos, we share the lady lawmaker’s view that there’s that urgent need to make pandemic preparedness “a lifestyle” by introducing it to children at an early age.

Even the United Nations said that children should be engaged in some activities to make them understand the protocols of their safety during pandemics, such as hand-washing and social distancing.

Aware of the catastrophic effects of a pandemic, concerned government authorities, particularly DepEd officials, have no choice but to approve the proposal of Rep. Bernadette Herrera.