By Shadrack Nyakoe
Youth in Kenya can now access information about their sexual and reproductive health after the Ministry of Health launched a platform designed to avail information easily and credibly to them.
The platform, dubbed Lifeyangu.com, was inaugurated today by Dr. George Rae is the acting CEC for Health, Kisumu County, in conjunction with a consortium of local and international organizations led by Deutsche Stiftung Welbevölkerung (DSW) and Bayer East Africa.
Life Yangu will provide information to Kenyans aged between 18 to 24 years, allowing them to access sexual and reproductive health services easily by mapping out health facilities near them and providing a safe environment for the youth to share information. So far, 106 public clinics have been earmarked for the first phase of the project.
The idea of the platform was borne from the challenge of accessing credible reproductive health specialists and information online in Kenya and the growing need to furnish the youth with this knowledge. Some key information the youth can now access is nearby reproductive health facilities and contraceptive options among others.
Speaking at the launch, Dr George Rae is the acting CEC for Health, Kisumu County, said the ministry was glad to have this public-private partnership, bringing together like-minded organizations to come up with effective solutions that change Kenyans’ lives.
“It is impressive that this platform, Lifeyangu.com, developed by DSW and Bayer, has come at the right time, where all these factors – the need for appropriate reproductive health services and access to technology – intersect,” said Dr. Rae.
“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. 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. In 2019 during the International Conference on Population and Development, Nairobi Summit, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta committed to employ Innovation, Communication and Technology to ensure adolescents and youth attain the highest standards of health,” added Dr. Rae.
On their part, Evelyn Samba, the DSW Kenya, Country Director confirmed that one of the reasons they chose to go the online route was because young Kenyans are much more comfortable looking for information online than going to physical facilities.
“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 and 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.,” said MS Samba.