A well-recognized Non-government organization, HACEY health initiative has charged Nigerians, Private and public sectors as well as parents to capitalize on technology in a bid to developing young people's sexual and reproductive orientation using two platforms they recently put together; the SALVUS and TOMBEY.
According to the Director of Gender and Development Programs of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, "the platforms basically make use of mobile technology all in a quest improve access to services and information on Sexual Reproductive Health [SRH] and sexual violence."
Rhoda made this known while moderating an open panel session at Social Media Week Lagos themed "Leveraging Technology for Young People's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights".
The session explored basic challenges young people face in accessing information on safe sex, contraception, menstrual hygiene and puberty as well as reporting sexual violence.
Panelists at the event include; the State Team Leader, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Program NURHI 2 PROJECT, Dr, Omasanjuwa Edun, Marketing Manager DKT Nigeria, Morenike Fajemisi, the Project Lead, TECH4DEV, , Joel Ogunsola, Co-founder & C.E.O, Babymigo, Lanre Adeloye, as well as the Managing Director, Mobile Medics, Dr. Olusheyi Oni.
While giving an in-depth explanation of what SALVUS and TOMBEY represent, Rhoda noted that, "The TOMBEY platform helps young people locate youth-friendly SRH centres near them, identify services available at these centres, and provide the opportunity for them to access needed services. It is a combination of phone and web based tech to put access to sexual and reproductive health information and services at the fingertips of adolescents.
"The TOMBEY platform not only provides information on the closest sexual and reproductive health centers to a user, but also gives them the opportunity to talk to a peer educator or counselor about issues they face. They also have the opportunity to start discussions on the platform through our forum or share stories and articles through our blog. TOMBEY builds the agency of adolescents by encouraging them to review centers and share what they believe are the sexual and reproductive health needs they want addressed. The TOMBEY platform can be accessed at www.tombey.org .
"Salvus, meaning "Safe" on the other hand is an online platform that enables survivors and witnesses of sexual violence report incidents anonymously and securely, and access help from registered support service providers. Users can access the Salvus platform at www.mysalvus.org"
In the same vein, the MD, Mobile Medic, Dr Oni Olusegun urged health professionals to be proactive adding that, "People will always go on google to get information but professionals should also stand in the gap to profound solutions as far as health, sex as well and health rights issues are concerned"
In other to prevent the trauma that arise from aftermath of unwanted experiences of sexual assault which may be as a result of lack of sexual education, marketing Manager, DKT Nigeria, Morenike Fajemi gave her precise opinion so as to avoid crying over an already spilled milk.
She said, "Do not wait until it is too late to offer children sex education as studies have proven that any kind of knowledge from a reliable source allows predators to prevail.
The need for sexual education in our modern age is undebatable and shouldn't be a responsibility of parents alone but also corporate organizations as well as the government.
HACEY is a development organization focused on improving the health and productivity of under-served population in Africa. The organisation works with communities, government institutions, private sector companies, civil society groups and the media to design and implement sustainable interventions aimed at creating lasting impact for our beneficiaries.
In the same vein, Social Media Week, now in its 8th year, is a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Its mission is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information. This year's theme "Closer" will explore the intensifying conflict between community and individualism. The conversation will bring together a diversity of perspectives to discuss the most productive ways to harness these forces to drive innovation, improve consumer experiences and bring people together.