Bringing aid to Ouagadougou's street children

MSF is teaching basic medical skills to the ainés, a group of older children who have emerged as leaders. MSF is in the throes of setting up a referral health network and also a network of people in town who the children can turn to in times of need (e.g. street vendors and other town dwellers).

For the future, MSF would like to explore the different categories of street children. There are three main types: those who are totally homeless, those who have a home but who spend most of their time on the streets and those suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism. MSF is also investigating the growing problem of child prostitution.

In Soum, MSF volunteers helped staff in 10 health centres combat epidemics by providing training in the diagnosis of disease, in upgrading the quality of prescriptions and in the effective management of medical stocks. This programme drew to a close in May 1999.