MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) launched Tuesday its first-ever "Train Wrap" project at the Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2 (LRT 2) to give its health campaign a big boost.

"The objective is to make sure that our health programs and the various public health programs are brought closer to our people and hopefully effect a better lifestyle and health for everyone, especially the commuting public," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during the launch at the LRT 2 Santolan Station.

Under "Train Wraps", the health department will place health messages that will increase the riding public’s awareness on how to improve their health and protect themselves from illnesses, such as frequent hand washing, coughing manners, dengue prevention, blood donation, child immunization, HIV/AIDs prevention, and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo described the move to put up health tips inside and outside the train as an opportunity to educate the commuters.

For instance, a commuter gripping the handle bars would be reminded to "Kumapit sa hand rails, huwag sa Droga (Hold on to the hand rails, not to drugs)!"; or "Hindi lahat ng sweet nakakakilig (Not everything sweet is exciting)."; "Offer your seat, not your virus. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.”; "Nabawasan ang load mo? Mas matinding problema kung hindi nabawasan ang timbang mo. Mag-balanced diet at mag-ehersisyo (Has your phone load been reduced? It would be worse if you do not reduce your weight. Eat a balanced diet and exercise). "

Under the collaboration between the DOH and the LRT 2 management, the “Train Wrap” project will last three months.

Duque expressed hope that the LRT Authority (LRTA) would heed their plea to extend the project to four months, or even longer, for a better health outcome.

The DOH, he said, had spent PHP4 million for the project in an effort to instill in the people’s mind ways to protect them from illnesses.

"Aanhin natin ang yaman sa kagamitan, sa salapi, sa kaibigan at kung anu-ano pang klase ng yaman kung ikaw naman ay nakahiga at tinuturukan ng dextrose at kung anu-ano pang tubo na nakapasok sa katawan mo (What use would your material wealth and friends be if you are bedridden with all sorts of tubes stuck on you)?" Duque said.

The department has already used print media, radio, television and lately, social media to push its health agenda.

With “Train Wrap” and the LRT 2 train as a medium, the DOH hopes to bring its messages to as many people as possible, with a wide range of ages and profiles.

According to the LRTA, LRT 2 has an average ridership of more than 252,000 passengers daily. (PNA)

NOT YOUR VIRUS. This is one of the health tips offered by the Department of Health to riders of the LRT 2. To reach some 252,000 people per day, the department chose LRT 2 to launch it health campaign, “Train Wraps”, on Tuesday (January 30, 2018). (Photos by Leilani S. Junio)