Africa has the world’s highest rates of adolescent pregnancy, a factor that affects the health, education, and earning potential of millions of African girls. Of 20 countries with the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy, 18 are African, says the report on Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy published by UNFPA.
Working with adolescents, we have had so many ask us whether the first sexual encounter can lead to conception, whether sex while standing can result into a pregnancy or whether if they take a bath immediately they will not catch infections, whether they can conceive if we have sex in a swimming pool, or if they jump a bit after sex.
These are the adolescents who potentially end up on the statistics of teenage pregnancy, HIV prevalence, child marriage, maternal mortality, name it. We have failed so many young people by clinging to cultural norms that hinder access Sexual and Reproductive health information. We have failed them by giving them the impression that sex education is a taboo. We have failed them by adapting a one size fits all sex education strategy. And many have fallen through the cracks.
In partnership with UNFPA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sana Mobile the #HackForYouth Hackathon (www.hackforyouth.org), which took place between 21-23 July, brought together young people from various parts of the world including our very own peer educators at Reach A Hand, Uganda and techie savvy people formed seven groups and competitively come up a reproductive health mobile app prototype. The best prototype to be selected was to work with the UNFPA Innovation team to develop an app that young people can download on their phones and access reproductive health information. Team PutItOn emerged the best, with an engaging quiz app that has a reward incentive. The rewards keep the young person motivated and while they are using the app, they are also educating themselves.
It’s amazing how innovative young people can be when given the right platform to freely express themselves. Read these blogs for more brilliant ideas that came out of the Hackathon…
Uganda Scie Girl
The News Hub
The Community Agenda
United Nations in Moldova
Uganda Radio Network