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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Fulfilling Russian street children's right to health

Jennifer Leigh, Doctors of the World-USA, 375 West Broadway, 4th Fl, New York, NY 10012, 212-226-9890, x255, jennifer.leigh@dowusa.org

Purpose: Since 1994, Doctors of the World (DOW) has provided medical and psychosocial services to street children in St. Petersburg, Russia in response to post-Soviet family fracturing and subsequent increase in child neglect and homelessness. DOW's Drop-In Centers (DICs) for street children provide accessible services, fulfilling individual children's right to health, often denied due to discrimination. To promote these rights at the community level, DOW trained local providers and established a Russian NGO to ensure local provision of care. However, the needs of street children remain unmet by public providers. As the Russian government has not funded such services and international funding is time-bound, DOW identified the need to ensure sustainable services and fulfill street children's rights at the system level via integration of DOW's model into state health/social services systems.

Methods: To address lack of government provision of accessible services for street children, DOW and the Frunzensky District Administration in St. Petersburg replicated DOW's model by co-establishing a DIC to provide services to street children. Frunzensky Administration renovated a facility and provides staff and maintenance. DOW provides technical assistance, additional staff, and management.

Results: This public-private partnership trained government and NGO staff. Within two months, 84 clients were served and the Administration adopted DOW's protocols. The Administration will implement services independently within two years.

Recommendations: To enhance structural impact, NGOs piloting models to reach marginalized children must identify public partners willing to systematize and institutionalize change. This advances realization of children's rights by supporting states to fulfill their obligations.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: International MCH, Human Rights

    Related Web page: www.dowusa.org/common/news/info_detail.cfm?QID=3033&clientID=11012

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Not Answered

    Handout (.pdf format, 242.7 kb)

    Handout (.pdf format, 198.8 kb)

    Child Health Issues and Innovations

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA