The MSF project for street children project in Manila, capital of the Philippines, will close in December. The program, launched in 1992, started off providing mainly medical assistance, and in 2000 was extended to socio-legal and psychosocial activities.
"Manila counts about 100,000 street children.", said JoÃ?«lle Goire, MSF head of mission in the Philippines. "We have been offering medical, psychological, social and legal services as well as health education. We have also extended our program to children in prison. And our teams have been working with health workers, police officers and prison guards to improve the children’s overall treatment and living conditions."
Though not all problems have been solved, the ten-year program has yielded good medical and legal results.
"The street children have proper access to health care now and their case management in the courts has improved significantly." Goire continued. "In Manila, there are over 200 NGO’s working for homeless people, some of which are far better placed to deal with the remaining problems of street children in areas where we lack specific experience."
In September, MSF conducted an evaluation and concluded that there were no major medical needs that would require MSF to continue its work.
"Next year we will send an exploratory mission for three to four months to the Philippines,' she added. "The mission will verify whether there are other medical problems in the archipelago that MSF should tackle. But as far as the street children program goes, it will be concluded in the course of December."
"The street children have proper access to health care now and their case management in the courts has improved significantly." said JoÃ?«lle Goire the MSF head of mission in the Philippines.