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Provide primary health care for street children

by Childhope Asia Philippines, Inc. Vetted since 2012 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children
Provide primary health care for street children

Driven to be responsible youths of the community, Childhope Philippines’ Junior Child Rights Advocates underwent a 3-day Peer Education Training on STI-HIV/AIDS prevention and gender equality last September 6-9, at Tahanan Sta. Luisa, Antipolo, Rizal.


About eighteen new Junior Child Rights Advocates participated, led by Childhope’s Assistant Executive Director, Ms. Helen Quinto, and with Mr. Ralph Ivan, President of Y-Peer Philippines as trainor.


The aim of the training is to strengthen the skills of the participants and to provide them with a basic knowledge on the current situation on HIV and AIDS in the Philippines, as well as interactive methods on how to improve their sensitization and counselling skills and how they can engage with their fellow youths during similar activities to create HIV awareness.


The training will equip the advocates with knowledge and awareness about HIV, AIDS, and STI, and on child rights and gender equality as well,” Quinto said.


The training also focused on the different aspects of peer education and counselling prior to HIV testing as a first step to HIV prevention.


In HIV prevention, we should be aware that testing is crucial to providing access to early treatment and care for people living with HIV and to protect those who are HIV negative,” Ivan said.


Childhope Philippines capacitates these youngsters to be more knowledgeable by providing them integrated education, and be more a responsible youth by sharing their learnings to fellow youth, family, and community.


Moreover, as part of Childhope Philippines’ holistic alternative education sessions, modules on STI-HIV/AIDS prevention, adolescent sexuality and reproductive health, as well as gender sensitivity and gender equality are conducted among older street children and youth.


ASMPH students teaching in Divisoria
ASMPH students teaching in Divisoria

A group of fourth year medical students from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) went out of the hospital and into the streets of Metro Manila to conduct alternative education sessions on Environmental Health for the beneficiaries of Childhope Philippines.

Childhope Philippines, a non-profit organization and the pioneer of street education in the country, has been teaching street children about their rights, health, protective behavior, and basic literacy and numeracy, armed with ten Alternative Education modules and a hardworking team of Street Educators.

Environmental Health is a welcome and long-awaited eleventh module, pushing Childhope to the present as it tackles a very important issue concerning not only the country but the entire world.

Ang dami ko pong natutunang bago, gaya po ng dapat pala ay hindi ako nagtatapon ng basura kung saan-saan, at hindi din po dapat [ito] sinusunog,” says Lisa, a street child from Divisoria, after participating in the second teaching session. (I learned a lot of new things, such as not to throw garbage anywhere, and not to burn them.)

Kaya po pala mga doktor ang nagtuturo sa amin ngayon, Ate,” says Joey, another street child from Lawton, “Kasi hindi lang po pala kami nakaka-apekto at nakakasira sa kapaligiran. Kung hindi po namin aalagaan ang kapaligiran, magkakasakit din po kami.” (That is why doctors are teaching us now. We don’t just affect and destroy the environment. If we do not take care of the environment, we will get sick.)

This is a two-year project of the medical students as part of ASMPH’s Learning Experiences in Communities, and was meticulously developed under the supervision of Childhope’s Physician.

The students’ two-week community rotation was the culmination of their LEC, where they taught street children from Lawton, Divisoria, and Monumento, that one’s own personal health and the health of our environment are very important and very much interconnected.


Junior Health Workers providing first aid
Junior Health Workers providing first aid

Childhope’s approach to health stays true to the Declaration of Alma Ata, which defines health as the “complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The Mobile Health Clinic played a vital role in ensuring that Childhope’s street children beneficiaries had access to health services, ensuring that they are healthy enough to attend formal and non-formal education. However, the impact of the other social determinants of health clearly demonstrated that the Mobile Health Clinic cannot stand alone in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our beneficiaries. Through Childhope’s Street Educators, our beneficiaries learned basic knowledge and skills, including primary health care, to survive in the streets and to eventually leave the streets for a better and more productive life. They received basic education through basic literacy and numeracy classes, alternative learning system (ALS) classes, and vocational and technical skills training. Childhope’s Social Workers, on the other hand, provided psychosocial intervention that targeted problems that our street children may have had with their families, the community, the school, and with the law. With the three main arms of Childhope’s Street Education Program working hand in hand, our street children beneficiaries were ensured a fighting chance to become respected and responsible members of the society now and in the future.

The major challenge Childhope faced in the implementation of the Mobile Health Clinic Project was the continued “rescues” or round-up operations of street dwellers by the local government. These rescues, although done regularly, were intensified during international events held in Metro Manila. Ideally, the rescued street dwellers are dropped off in processing centers and immediately reunited with their families or transferred to long-term residential facilities for proper case management. Although theoretically beneficial for street dwellers, and for street children in particular, the implementation was still far from ideal. As a result, the street children just got in and out of the center several times, disrupting Childhope’s health, education and psychosocial services they receive while under our care. To manage this problem, the Social Workers intensified their coordination with the residential centers to endorse the cases of our beneficiaries and ensure the continuity of services. For health in particular, beneficiaries with medical concerns were provided with medical assistance and regularly followed-up to safeguard their health while in the custody of residential facilities until such time that the street children are reunited with their families, or the residential facilities can fully take-over the case management.

During the one-year implementation of th Mobile Health Clinic Project, one thousand one hundred and thirty four (1134) medical consultations were conducted with street children beneficiaries inside the Mobile Health Clinic. Exactly two hundred and sixty (260) of these were Well Child consults, accounting for twenty two percent of all consultations. Majority, or approximately 75%, of the children seen and examined were well-groomed, as much as their living conditions allowed them to, exhibiting good personal hygiene practices they learned through primary health care sessions with our street educators and additional health sessions by the Junior Health Workers. During medical consultations, our beneficiaries received medical assistance, such as complete course of medicines, vitamin and mineral supplements, wound care, and minor surgical procedures inside the Mobile Health Clinic, as well as diagnostic tests, consultations with specialists, and emergency referrals that were carried out by the social workers.

The nutritional status monitoring this year showed that eighty percent (80%) of our street children beneficiaries were within the normal range based on the World Health Organization’s Growth Standards. On the other hand, nine percent (9%) were underweight, eight percent (8%) were overweight, and three percent (3%) were obese. All our beneficiaries were advised about good food choices during one-on-one medical consultations, and were routinely given vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure that they receive the micronutrients they otherwise lack due to their limited food supply. Routine deworming was conducted in all the areas (100%) where Childhope operates to ensure that our beneficiaries do not suffer from further malnourishment due to intestinal parasites.

Several medical referrals were carried out. Thirteen (13) children underwent various diagnostic tests for further evaluation of their medical problem, and twelve (12) children were referred to medical specialists or to the emergency room. Two of the latter were referred for anti-rabies and anti-tetanus vaccination because of dogbite. Two children were brought to the Child Protection Unit due to separate incidents of mauling. An educational scholar was referred to an Ophthalmologist due to a sudden onset of blurred vision and strabismus (or being cross-eyed), and was treated for Optic Neuritis. An adolescent boy was admitted to the hospital due to difficulty of breathing, and was treated for Pulmonary Tuberculosis. A teenage girl was admitted for surgical excision a Nabothian cyst, a cyst within the genital tract. Four children were referred to an Optometrist due to blurring of vision, and were subsequently provided with corrective eyeglasses. Lasty, a boy was referred to the emergency room for probable leg fracture, but was cleared of it by the attending Orthopedic Surgeon. Unfortunately, one child refused to undergo the needed diagnostic tests despite repeated counselling, but the social worker in charge of him is exploring other options for care.

The Junior Health Workers were instrumental in multiplying the number of beneficiaries provided with health services. The JHWs provided first aid and wound care one thousand one hundred and fifteen times (1115) to their fellow street children and other members of their respectve communities, assisted three hundred and thirty five (335) children in personal grooming, and conducted one-on-one health sessions regularly to a total of four hundred and twenty nine (429) beneficiaries.

It is worth noting that for this year, there were no documented cases of complications, disabilities, and deaths, due to delayed treatment or medical negligence.

Routine ear check-up of children beneficiaries
Routine ear check-up of children beneficiaries
Working together to keep street children healthy
Working together to keep street children healthy


Health is wealth --- and what better way to practice cleanliness than to learn it in a fun, creative, and collaborative way!

More than 100 street children of Childhope Philippines participated in a Health Care Fair Day --- made possible through a partnership with the Trade Coin Club (TCC).

Childhope Philippines and Trade Coin Club welcomed a new partnership with a special treat for the street kids. Volunteers, street educators, social workers, and junior health workers were on site to guide the kids in practicing a healthy and clean lifestyle by following simple steps.

Dr. Josefina Pamela Carpio, Childhope’s Head Physician and Head of the Mobile Health Clinic project, says education is a powerful tool that will help street children stay clean and healthy. Carpio emphasizes that if the street children are equipped with the right knowledge and tools to live clean and healthy, they will be more empowered and motivated to improve their lives.

Junior health workers, Childhope staff, and volunteers manned booths to guide the street children in properly taking care of their bodies. Street children learned step-by-step the basics and importance of washing their hands, cutting their nails, brushing their teeth, and cleaning their hair, face, and body.

The street children were also warned against the negative consequences of smoking and having intestinal worms.

Dr. Carpio emphasizes that more often than not, the basics of proper health and hygiene are neglected by street children and their families. This is because of the nature of the environment that the street children grew up in. That is why it is important that street children are given the proper guidance. Through the Mobile Health Clinic project, and through the support of donors, Childhope is able to help nurture and develop healthy habits among street children.

Working together to keep street children healthy
Working together to keep street children healthy
Empowering street children through health, hygiene
Empowering street children through health, hygiene
Empowering street children through health, hygiene
Empowering street children through health, hygiene
Working together to keep street children healthy
Working together to keep street children healthy


Medical students help children stay healthy
Medical students help children stay healthy

The Mobile Health Clinic aims to keep street children healthy by educating them and instilling in them the values of proper hygiene and basic health care.

It is a difficult task, since street children have been used to growing up in dirty and hazardous environments. They do not prioritize taking care of their health, as they are more concerned with the struggle to survive daily.

Still, efforts are underway to empower street children and urge them to better take care of their health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A group of medical students from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) are supporting Childhope in endeavors to make health services more accessible to street children and their families.


The medical students from ASMPH are developing an Alternative Education Module on Environmental Health and will help train the Street Educators on how to implement it.

“Our advocacy is to promote health, and health does not simply mean the absence of diseases. We want to help Childhope by making a module that is sustainable, that the street children can apply well in their daily lives,” said medical student Jethri.

The students are in the thick of finalizing and fine-tuning their module through trials and research. It will cover several topics including food safety, noise, air, and chemical pollutions, and the like. They want it to be very specialized and applicable to the street children’s urban setting and lifestyle.

The challenge is translating and simplifying theories into concrete action. They want to ensure that street children understand the topics well so they can readily apply their learnings in their daily routine.

“We realize that there is a need to strengthen foundations in terms of educating street children on health. The Mobile Health Clinic opens opportunities for street children to better take care of themselves,” said Jerson.

“It is humbling to be given the chance to know more about street children’s plight. We hope the module will help them understand their bodies, diseases, and their environment so they can better protect themselves. We hope that in our small ways, we help address the gaps in health care for street children,” he added.


The medical students’ engagement with Childhope is under their Learning Experiences in Communities (LEC) --- a part of their medical education curriculum. They are grateful for the opportunity to go beyond the four walls of a classroom. They are able to see underprivileged communities for what they really are, and are more inspired to make changes and help in every way they can.

“We are happy to be able to do more than just medical missions. We hope to make the module simple yet interactive and deep. We hope that through the module, street children will be empowered and be more proactive in taking good care of their health and their environments,” Rainier said.

The medical students are now working on completing materials, graphic representations, simplifying terms, and activity sheets. They plan to implement the module and train the Street Educators starting February 2018.

Medical students help children stay healthy
Medical students help children stay healthy



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Organization Information

Childhope Asia Philippines, Inc.

Location: Manila, N/A - Philippines
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Mylene Lagman
Resource Mobilization and Communications Manager
Manila, N/A Philippines
$1,817 raised of $35,000 goal
76 donations
$33,183 to go
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