Original Research

Physical, mental and healthcare issues of children on the street of Ibadan, Nigeria

Abimbola M. Obimakinde, Moosa Shabir
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 15, No 1 | a3819 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v15i1.3819 | © 2023 Abimbola M. Obimakinde, Moosa Shabir | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 August 2022 | Published: 26 May 2023

About the author(s)

Abimbola M. Obimakinde, Family Medicine Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences and Public Health, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; and Department of Family Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria; and Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Moosa Shabir, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Most street children studied in lower- and middle-income African countries are without family links. However, the majority of street children are children on the street, living with families during the night and spending their day-time on the streets. The health of this majority group is poorly captured in the literature despite the growing epidemic of child streetism.

Aim: To explore the health of children on the street of Ibadan using multiple qualitative studies.

Setting: A street in each of the five urban local government areas of Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria.

Methods: Participants comprising of children on the street, parental figures, street shop owners and child-welfare officers were purposively selected and interviewed. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed.

Results: Using triangulated data from 53 interviews, the study found that the children on the streets of Ibadan experienced many health challenges. Outstanding are poor carbohydrate-based diet, open defaecation with consequent infections, physical injuries and few deaths from road traffic accidents. Sexual, verbal and substance abuse were common although few children acquired resilience to adversity. The children had poor health-seeking behaviour and resorted to patent medicine dealers or tradomedical practitioners on the streets.

Conclusion: This study bridged some gaps in the literature regarding the health of children on the streets in Nigeria. The straddling of children between the family and street has cumulative health consequences as depicted in this study.

Contribution: This research can inform family-level intervention and primary health care plans to forestall the health challenges of children on the streets.


Keywords

family; children-on-the-street; unhygienic; concoction; hunger; sexual; hawk; injury.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1278
Total article views: 1686

 

Crossref Citations

1. A multisource analysis of child streetism in Nigerian urban centres
David V. Ogunkan
Development Policy Review  vol: 42  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1111/dpr.12739