The Fit for School Approach started in the Philippines, where one School Division made efforts to address the huge burden of tooth decay in school children by introducing daily school based toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste in public elementary schools. With the emerging pandemics like swine flu and bird flu in Asia, the importance of handwashing particularly in public schools became more important and led to the development of the Essential Health Care Programme (EHCP). Under the EHCP, daily group hand washing and daily group toothbrushing were combined with efforts to implement bi-annual deworming. The EHCP was pioneered by the school health workforce of Northern Mindanao, before expanding to other Regions of the Philippines.

Nowadays the program is implemented by the National Department of Education (DepED) as part of a broader WASH in Schools (WinS) program, which is also supported by other WASH partners. Read more about the programme in the Philippines.

The EHCP is also being implemented by the Department of Education of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (DepED ARMM). Read more about the programme in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.