We are excited to tell you about a great innovation project UNICEF Namibia are involved in called “YeAH!” (Youth e-Aid in HIV Testing & Counselling). The project aims to encourage young people in Namibia to get tested by offering them information about their risk, the test, and what being HIV positive means.
To give you a brief overview of the project, it was started because the Namibian government has identified HIV Testing & Counselling (HTC) as one of the key strategies to mitigate the impact of the disease amongst young people. While research shows that knowledge about where to get tested is high, the uptake of HTC amongst the 15 to 24 age group remains low. Barriers identified are mostly fear, low risk perception, lack of transportation and non-availability of HTC service on the weekends. That is the reason why UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and Ministry of Education (MoE) in a pilot program that will bring mobile HTC services to schools together with the YeAH! app that has the aim of putting young people at ease.
Targeting the youth of Namibia, Yeah! (Youth e-Aid in HIV Testing & Counselling) is an app that has the function of (1) Assessing the level of HIV risk of the user (the test for the test), (2) explaining the steps of HTC, (3) Clarifying what are the implications of being positive and negative, and (4) Providing information on sexuality and reproductive health. Finally, the user will be able to rate the application as well as leave a comment.
The YeAH! project intends to ensure young people know whether they need an HIV test or not (are they at risk?) as well as understand what the implications of being HIV positive or negative are. Also the app will give them access to critical information on sexuality and reproductive health. The idea of YeAH! was envisioned by UNICEF Namibia but the concept was discussed with different stakeholders and it was also presented to the e-Learning Africa Conference in June 2013.
Currently, the first version of the app is being finalized and the plan is that it will be piloted in January. You can read more about the project on the UNICEF innovation website. We will also be posting any project updates on there, so feel free to check back!
Intern, Innovation Unit, Copenhagen