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Offering Healthcare to Thailand’s Street Kids

March 22, 2011

Our Partners

Cavity fillings.  Vaccinations.  Infant formula.  Allergy medicine.  What if your children didn’t have access to these things?  We so often take medical care like this for granted.  But for children and young people living on the streets in Thailand, many working in the sex industry, it makes all the difference in the world.

Last November, The SOLD Project blog reported on our financial support of our partner’s healthcare program.  Volunteers for Child Development Foundation (VCDF) works with at-risk children living in some of Thailand’s largest tourist cities.  The majority of street children in these cities are undocumented and lack identification cards, meaning they cannot take advantage of Thailand’s generous national healthcare program.  The children and youth also lack the finances to pay for their own treatments. Without this program, it is likely that children would never receive standard vaccinations and booster shots.

The key for a child’s recovery is that they first feel good physically, healthy. When a child feels that their health is being taken care of by someone, that child feels important. At the Drop-In Center, the kids feel that many people care about them as their physical needs have been met. When they are healthy, they are then more apt to take advantage of other services at VCDF such as learning to read and write, life-skill training, HIV/AIDS training and vocational skill training.

In this past quarter, VCDF had the opportunity to support a young woman working in the sex industry who had become pregnant.  In the past, she had been tested for HIV and Ganges fever.  The report states:

The doctors were worried about the baby due to the mother catching Ganges fever, but no problems were found.  It is almost impossible to determine the father of the child, but she believes it was a Chinese tourist who offered her more money to have unprotected sex.  The baby boy, who was born in February, was healthy and the mother is doing fine as well.  If it wasn’t for this program, it would be very likely that the baby would have been born in the slums with the aid of older women.  The cost of the birth was also covered with SOLD funding in February.

The above information is compiled from the following report:

Kaliber, J.K., comp. Street Children’s Health Care Program: To Provide Emergency and Regular Check-up Health Services to Stateless At-risk Children and Youth Living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Rep. 2nd ed. Chiang Mai: Volunteers for Children Development Foundation, 2011. Print.

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