Healthcare



Street and Working Children live and work in extremely unhygienic conditions making them prone to severe skin conditions like scabies. At the same time, as these children live and work on the streets they are susceptible to physical injuries, which often left untreated leads to impairment of body parts. One can see a high incidence of substance use among the children and they are also susceptible to sexually transmitted infections thereby making them fall in the high-risk category of people who could be exposed to HIV. Thus to reduce the problems faced by children and at the same time also create awareness amongst them about hygiene and nutrition, the health care programme was started by Atal Foundation in 2011.

Objectives

  • To provide both curative and preventive treatment accessible to the children directly on the street
  • To form health cooperative of the children and to empower them to have ownership of the health project
  • To increase the awareness level of the children in terms of their health needs
  • To establish a cadre of child health educators
  • Propagating the concept of health cooperative at community and grass root level for collective action in the field of health
  • To network with the health professionals in the city as well as the government health care institutions
  • Advocate for change in policies on health issues at central, state and local levels, which has direct bearing on children's lives

There are three vital components of the Health Care programme and these are Curative, Preventive and Promotive Health Care.

In the Curative.phpect of the project the mobile health van along with a doctor visits all the contact points on a weekly basis to provide medical treatment to children in need. Along with it there are doctors who visit the night shelters to provide medical care.

In the Preventive.phpect we have the health education curriculum. It is an integral part of our life skill education programme. Issues ranging from HIV/AIDS, nutrition, rabies and tetanus to tuberculosis are dealt with. Improving the knowledge skill of the children and thereby reducing their susceptibility is the primary objective.

In the.phpect of Promotive health care we encourage the functioning of the Child Health Educators and the Health Cooperative.

Child Health Educators
In order to tackle minor injuries and ailments in shelters and contact points in absence of a doctor, children are given basic training in first aid and handling emergencies. Their peers from different contact points select children who are then trained to be Child Health Educator. They are also made aware of different departments of government hospitals, to ensure that a child in need gets immediate medical attention. The children have also been provided with first aid kits for handling emergencies. Equipped to tackle situations, the child health educator complements the health team.

Responsibilities

  • When a child falls sick, it is the responsibility of the child health educator to bring it to the notice of the street educator and the health team. If required the child health educator can take the child to a nearby government hospital for treatment
  • If any child is hospitalized, the child health educator remains in the hospital as attendant and organizes other children for care and support
  • Gives aid in minor ailments
  • Counsels' children about hygiene and good living
  • Disseminate information that helps in reducing risk behavior against substance abuse, STD's, HIV/AIDS
  • Promotes the concept of health cooperative and collective action

Health Education
Health education is integrated as part of the Alternate Education curriculum, wherein children are oriented on issues related to personal hygiene, sanitation and health. Regular workshops are organized to orient children on different issues ranging from HIV/AIDS, nutrition, rabies, malaria and tetanus to tuberculosis. The primary objective is to increase and improve the knowledge skill of the children and thereby reduce their susceptibility.