INNOVATION

Site brings sexual, reproductive info closer to youth

Young Kenyans are much more comfortable looking for information online

In Summary

• The site maps out health facilities near them and provides a safe environment for the youth to share information.

• The government has put in place a raft of measures to create an environment conducive for innovation that will positively impact all Kenyans

Mwanahawa Ali Ngao, Evelyn samba, Dr George Rae, and Frank Strelow during the launch of the Life Yangu platform in Nairobi on April 28, 2022
Mwanahawa Ali Ngao, Evelyn samba, Dr George Rae, and Frank Strelow during the launch of the Life Yangu platform in Nairobi on April 28, 2022
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Youth aged between 18 and 24 years can now access credible information about sexual and reproductive health through an online site.

The site dubbed Lifeyangu.com will ensure that youth access information on nearby reproductive health facilities and contraceptive options among others.

The site has been launched by the Health Ministry in conjunction with a consortium of local and international organisations led by Deutsche Stiftung Welbevölkerung (DSW) and Bayer East Africa.

Life Yangu will provide information to Kenyans aged between 18 and 24 years, allowing them to access sexual and reproductive health services easily.

The site maps out health facilities near them and provides a safe environment for the youth to share information.

So far, 106 public clinics have been earmarked for the first phase of the project.

"It is impressive that this platform has come at the right time, where all these factors; the need for appropriate reproductive health services and access to technology intersect,” acting CEC for Health, Kisumu County Dr George Rae said.

The idea to come up with the platform was arrived at to address the challenge of accessing credible reproductive health specialists and information online in Kenya and the growing need to furnish the youth with this knowledge.

“We are in the digital age, and as such there is need to ensure young people are able to access online tools to advance their lives,” Rae added.

The government has put in place a raft of measures to create an environment conducive for innovation that will positively impact all Kenyans, including the young people. 

Dr George Rae, Mwanahawa Ali ngao and Frank Strelow during the launch of the Life Yangu platform in Nairobi on April 28, 2022
Dr George Rae, Mwanahawa Ali ngao and Frank Strelow during the launch of the Life Yangu platform in Nairobi on April 28, 2022
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

During the International Conference on Population and Development Summit held in Nairobi in 2019, for instance, President Uhuru Kenyatta committed to employ Innovation, Communication and Technology to ensure adolescents and youth attain the highest standards of health.

According to the DSW Kenya, Country Director Evelyn Samba, young Kenyans are much more comfortable looking for information online than going to physical facilities hence the decision to come up with the site.

"This backdrop is why we wanted a digital solution that is simple, accessible, and easy to find; a platform that aims at reducing the pressure points for young people as they look for information about their reproductive health,” Samba said.

She added: “It should be a space where they find accurate and appropriate information and where their questions and concerns stay private- and will not expose them to stigma and suspicion by peers and parents/guardians.”

According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), too many young people face barriers to reproductive health information and care.

Even those able to find accurate information about their health and rights may be unable to access the services needed to protect their health.