Health and Social Problems of Street Children in Nazareth Town

Yemane Beyene
The exact number of street children in any given country is not known. To determine the number, health, and social problems of the street children, a cross sectional survey was conducted in Nazareth town, south eastern Ethiopia, from November to December 1994. Accordingly 5138 street children were counted during a one day census , by means of a systematic sampling. 597 subjects were selected into the study, 526(88.1%) Males and 71(11.9%) Females. The age ranged from 5 to 18 with mean age of
more » ... ith mean age of 12.9 and SD of 3. 16. (41.2%) of the children left their families when they were 10-14 years old, and 30 . 7% were separated in early childhood (0-4 years). Onl y (1 8 . 3%) were attending school currently, (54.6%) were children "on" the street and t he rest (45 . 4%) were "of" the street children, (67.2%) of the children eat at least twice daily, (14. 6%) of the children reported the use of at least one of the substances like Alcohol, cigarette, and chat. (61.6%) of the children reported an illness during the survey. The major health complaints were abdominal pain, cough and chest pain, eye and ear problems, headache and leg ulcer . This survey indicated that substance use, police arrest, sexual intercourse and STDs were reported more frequently among the "of " the street chi ldren . In conclusion, the street children have complex social and health problems which need to be addressed utilizing a multisectoral approach
doi:10.20372/nadre/12971 fatcat:tfrkzoghrraspimyv2ppoe7uem