STREET CHILDREN OF KARACHI IN RELATION WITH THEIR HEALTH ISSUES
Dr. Syed Anzar Ahmed*, Dr. Alvina Tariq, Dr. Amna Anzar and Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad
The population of homeless people and street children has been increasing since decades; United Nation has estimated that there are approximately 140 million street children worldwide. Out of these 20 million of these children are homeless and they havenâ€™t ever met their families their entire lives. South Asia has been considered a largest hub to these street children. The actual number of street children residing in Pakistan is still not reported however, SPARC- Society for the protection of the Rights of the Child has declared that Pakistan holds around 1.5 million street children. Around 10,000 street children are living in Karachi up to date (Towe, V. L., ul Hasan, S., Zafar, S. T., & Sherman, S. G., 2009). With the updates of previous researches the number of street children in Pakistan has been increased since decades and this has led the raise in social and mental health concerns in these children. The raised ratio of street children in Pakistan, basically in Karachi had led the public health workers to point out the poverty, deprivation of basic life necessities like food and medicine and disease burden in these areas. These children are being separated by their family and this makes them to lose hope for education and health care facilities. Most commonly they face hunger, malnutrition, and mental health retardation and hygiene issues and most of them die on streets unreported. Unfortunately, no one cares they live or die on street and no one reports their issues and being mistreated by society, around half of these population serves as street venders or work for some people in reward of a little amount of money. Previously, several scholars have demonstrated that unhygienic conditions and disturbed physical health affects mental health of these children, which ultimately leads to decreased performance (Medlow, S., Klineberg, E., & Steinbeck, K., 2014). To save children from attempting dangerous acts like robbing, stealing and criminal acts, a strong support system is needed who are required to go through the depth of emotions they are facing and the extent of problems and the level of distress in lives (Hutz, C. S., & Koller, S. H., 1999).
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