Provide primary health care for street children

by Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc
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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
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
Provide primary health care for street children

Project Report | Sep 19, 2016
Mobile Clinic: Creating a Healthy Future for Street Children

By Fatima Reyes | Resource Mobilization Officer

Dra. Carpio gives check-ups to street kids
Dra. Carpio gives check-ups to street kids

MOBILE CLINIC: CREATING A HEALTHY FUTURE FOR OUR STREET CHILDREN

With the streets as their home, more and more poor Filipino children are at risk of getting sick.

They are used to dirty environments, as they search through trash to find food and anything useful. Their families cannot afford to buy medicine or get treatment. So when street children get sick, they just hope to recover. Besides, hospitals may be too jam-packed to even accommodate them.

But a dedicated team of doctor, junior health workers, volunteers, and an ambulance driver tries to ease the street children’s suffering, by bringing the medical services to them.

MOBILE HEALTH

Childhope, a non-government organization advocating for the cause of street children, is strengthening its Mobile Health Clinic (MHC) project.  The team, on board a van complete with medical equipment, goes to the poorest areas of Manila every week to provide health care and medical services to street children and their families.

“Most of our patients are street children aged 7 to 17 years old. We offer a wide range of services, from treating wounds and providing check-ups, to monitoring the nutritional status of the children, deworming them, and providing dental examinations,” says Josefina Pamela Carpio, Childhope’s doctor and head of the MHC project.

Dra. Carpio says a primary concern is making sure the street children get the nutrients they need. Childhope carries out feeding programs for the kids, but Carpio says a long-term goal is to ensure that street children stay healthy by educating them on the right kinds of food to eat.

The mobile health clinic provides the street children with vitamins and mineral supplements they need to prevent them from being vulnerable to various illnesses. It also educates the children on how to access health services from the government, and provides counselling on the need to avoid and stop smoking and inhalant substance abuse.

MALNUTRITION, PREVENTION

From January to August 2016, the mobile health clinic and the team treated and served more than a thousand street children. By August, 70% of the children have normal weight, while 11% of them are malnourished. A small percent are overweight and obese.

“We try to ensure that street children don’t stay malnourished, because this condition will have adverse effects on their growth and development. It’s a difficult process because even though we give them vitamins and food, the challenge is for street families to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” says Carpio.

But life on the streets takes a toll on children and their families, and it gets very hard for them to cope when the diseases worsen.

Carpio says based on their assessment, most street children suffer from acute respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, acute gastroenteritis, dental caries, asthma, and wounds. 

CHILDREN HELP CHILDREN STAY HEALTHY

The youth play a vital role in ensuring the success of the mobile health clinic project. Childhope trains junior health workers (JHWs) to serve as young health advocates. The JHWs, also children themselves, help other children by educating them on primary health care, conducting first aid, and referring them to public health centers.

“Child participation is essential to mobilizing health services and resources. Through the JHW project, children are showing other children that they can take charge of their own health, and that no one is too young when it comes to keeping healthy habits,” says Carpio.

Currently, Childhope has about 30 junior health workers assisting doctors and street educators in caring for the medical needs of street children.

16-year old Steven is one of Childhope’s junior health workers. The Grade Ten student of Manila High School has been one of Childhope’s beneficiaries since 2012, and he says his role as a JHW has opened up opportunities for him to learn and improve.

“Masaya dahil nakakatulong ako sa ibang bata. Natuturuan ko silang gamutin yung mga sugat nila at gumamit ng first aid kit. Kailangan matuto ako mabuti, kasi ayokong ituro sa kanila yung mga hindi ko kayang gawin (I am happy to help other street children. I teach them how to treat their wounds and use first-aid kit. I want to learn well, because I want to teach them well),” Steven said.

Steven said that before, he did not take good personal hygiene and healthy habits seriously. Now, he is passionately advocating for them. “Magandang simulan natin sa mga bata, para madala nila ang practice hanggang pagtanda (It’s good that we start them young, so they can take these healthy practices as they grow up),” he said.

A junior health worker treats wounds of street kid
A junior health worker treats wounds of street kid
The youth teach street kids to treat wounds
The youth teach street kids to treat wounds

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Organization Information

Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc

Location: Manila, N/A - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ChildhopePH
Project Leader:
Mylene Lagman
Resource Mobilization and Communications Manager
Manila , N/A Philippines
$15,448 raised of $35,000 goal
 
349 donations
$19,552 to go
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