Suha Mohammed Elhassan Ali Hassan and Satti Abdulrahim Satti*
Department of Pediatrics, Almughtarabeen University, Sudan
*Corresponding Author: Satti Abdulrahim Satti, Department of Pediatrics, Almughtarabeen University, Sudan.
Received: October 20, 2022; Published: January 20, 2023
Background: The term “street children” has been recognized by UNICEF as a concept of those who live on the streets unaccompanied and aging less than 18 years. The phenomenon of “street children’’ has been documented as far back as 1848. “Street children” are increasing in numbers mainly in developing countries, particularly in Sudan. The hardship and difficulties that are daily faced by street children render them susceptible to various types of physical, emotional and sexual victimization. The risk factors identified are mainly financial, familial, social and political reasons. Abandoned children form gangs, created their own argots, and engaged in petty thefts. The records from Sudan are deficient. So we are trying to put this critical issue of abuses and struggles facing street children in our community in Khartoum state under spotlight.
Objectives: To assess child abuses, its rates and other problems facing street children in Khartoum state, Sudan and to determine the risk factors of why children ended up on the streets.
Method: This is a community-based, descriptive and cross-sectional study, using a structured questionnaire to in-depth interview street children to collect data. Participants were selected conveniently from random sites of gathering areas such as road stop-signs and other outreach areas from Khartoum state. It was conducted from November 2019 to August 2020. Children ages were between 5 and 18 years, who are mentally normal. The sample size was 275. Data was analyzed using statistical package of social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. All consents were assured to be taken.
Results: Total number studied was 275 street children. In our study 75.3% of these were abused. Male to female ratio was 5 to 1. Their age ranged from 6 to 18 years. Almost third were illiterate. 66.1% had absent one or both parents. Causes of being on the streets include family and financial issues, followed by being abused at home or surroundings, with 12.6% been abandoned or kicked from their homes. Activities they used to do were: 78.5% begging for money and food, 67.3% working, only 1.5% incorporated into groups of gangs and committed crimes, and 0.7%, 0.4% were doing theft activities and sex work respectively. 89.1% were drug abusers. It was mainly “Siliseon” in 86.5% of them, plus tobacco, snuff, drinking locally made alcohol and cannabis. Physical abuse represented the most (93.%) followed by verbal, moral and sexual abuse. Problems encountered after abuse were: Mainly health problems, followed by psychological problems then unwanted pregnancy. Protection methods practiced were: mainly running away, calling for help, defending themselves and informing the police. In conclusion: The issue of street children in Khartoum state is a real problem. Risk factors were mainly family problems. Three quarters exposed to high rates of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Almost all were drug abusers mainly with Siliseon. So urgent plans from the government and other organizations are needed, saving our children’s lives and balancing their future. Rehabilitation institutions should be established urgently by the ministry of social affairs and researchers should be recruited for further studies.
Keywords: Risk Factors; Street Children; Abuse; Problems; Khartoum State
Citation: Satti Abdulrahim Satti., et al. “Risk Factors, Child Abuse and Problems Facing Street Children Aged 5 to 18 Years in Khartoum State, Sudan". Acta Scientific Paediatrics 6.2 (2023): 23-28.
Copyright: © 2023 Satti Abdulrahim Satti., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.