Egypt 1998

International staff: 4 National staff: 8 HEALTH PROBLEMS OF STREETCHILDREN Increasing poverty in the countryside has produced large-scale migrations to Cairo and the towns of Upper Egypt. Cairo in particular experiences chaotic informal development and lacks resources to meet even the basic needs of new arrivals. The number of street-children rose dramatically in recent years, many having untreated diseases. MSF collaborates with a local partner in an effort to have them officially acknowledged and given legal protection. The team offers medical consultations in a Cairo drop-in centre and provides laboratory tests and medicines, as well as training for local staff. Although the increasing number of children come for clothes, food and to wash, they soon discover the MSF dispensary. Their main health problems are respiratory infections, parasitosis and trauma. Whenever required, MSF seeks to have them admitted to hospital. The team also provides health education focusing on STD prevention and the dangers of drug addiction. In Cairo's Bassatin district, an MSF team worked through a health centre and locally-based groups improving access to health care, including reproductive health, for the most impoverished inhabitants of a slum area. Unfortunately, registration problems interrupted the project at the end of 1997, although part was taken over by the Ministry of Health. In Manshiet el Nasr district, work continues to improve the horrific conditions of 30,000 rubbish collectors living in intimate proximity to rubbish and pigs. This is a community development project targeting health and hygiene awareness and integrating various health-related services.