Saturday, 08 Sep 2012

New space for youth to engage in health issues.

K-hug platform

“Where's my Seat?” is the title of a video post on the new youth online platform K-HUG (Kenya Health User-Generated Content) . The post, by Violet Otindo, explores the government’s push to ensure that public transport vehicles are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Another poster, Henry Owino shares facts on the growing number of women infected by HIV and another explores the demonization of individuals with diseases stereotypically associated with their social class.

The site, launched by Internews in Kenya, encourages young people to discuss health matters on a platform that is easily accessible and engaging, so they can ultimately make better-informed decisions about their health. The content contributors tweet, post via Facebook, and add photos, audio, video, and text messages to the site.

More than 50 percent of Kenya’s 40 million citizens own cell phones. Many use phones actively to communicate and relay important information. There are many innovative ways in which mobile applications have transformed people’s lives in Kenya. K-HUG hopes to tap into the wide use of cell phones in Kenya to engage youth on issues about their health.

K-HUG aims to empower Kenyan and African youth not only to discuss, but also act on the issues that affect them. Such issues include access to condoms, contraception, ways to reduce HIV infections among youth, teen pregnancy, obesity, cancer, anorexia, mental illness, and challenges of sexual orientation, among others.

Internews’ programs in Kenya are funded by USAID.

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