Smart bots were designed to help adolescents tackle complex romantic and relationship issues that arise during the adolescent stage.
The Department of Health, in partnership with Reach Digital Health and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, launched a WhatsApp platform to help young people ask questions about sexual and reproductive health.
Young Africa Live (YAL) smart bot helps young people tackle the complex issues of adolescence, including love and relationships, sexuality, mental health, HIV and STDs, birth control and pregnancy. Designed.
The South African-based WhatsApp platform is the first to be launched under YAL and is part of the ministry’s interactive digital health platform called B-Wise Health. Smart bots are also designed to help and empower young people to find solutions to their sex and relationship challenges in a private and safe space where answers are readily available.
Meanwhile, the establishment of this youth initiative comes at a time of high rates of teenage pregnancy and HIV infection among adolescents. This is also related to the results of the Adolescent Sexuality Survey conducted in 2012, in which at least 60% of 17,000 randomly surveyed South African adolescents consulted their parents about sexual problems. It turned out that they answered that they were not open to asking questions or asking questions.
Findings show that important conversations about sex remain taboo in some parts of society, making it difficult for young people to open up to sex-related questions to make informed health choices. suggests that
To address this, the YAL platform is a complementary solution to the existing B-Wise Health system, aiming to put power back in the hands of young people and give them the space they need to find answers for themselves. I am aiming. The creators of the platform said they feared judgment and retaliation.
“The platform is easy to use, accessible, speaks the language of the digital age and gives them what they need to live safely.”
They added that on YAL’s platform, “no questions are too embarrassing or too weird.”
“Young people can ask exactly what they are thinking, feel secure, and get useful and accurate answers.”
Additionally, users can chat privately via WhatsApp, and if there’s a topic they’d like to discuss with a colleague, they can jump to B-Wise’s Facebook or Instagram page to see what others have to say.
“This allows the platform to establish common topics across key geographies and age groups and adapt content on both its public Facebook page and private WhatsApp platform,” the creators explained.
It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to understand open-ended questions and automatically reply with the most relevant answers, he added. “This feature is designed to learn and improve the more you use it, evolving rapidly to interpret the different ways young people seek information.
“Insights, support and information are provided by B-Wise trained professionals who can be accessed through the platform or Facebook and Instagram.”
The WhatsApp platform also provides a space where young people can explore various features, search for nearby services, ask questions or request a call from a qualified counselor.
“It also leads to information that empowers them in the face of overwhelming physical and emotional changes,” the creators said.
“This means that each young person’s steps towards improving their sexual, reproductive and mental health can be tailored to their specific needs, in a privacy-preserving and non-judgmental environment where young people are empowered. It’s meant to provide a safe place to explore sensitive topics.”
Meanwhile, as part of the South African National Digital Health Strategy, South Africa embraces the potential of digital health technologies to improve healthcare quality and coverage, increase access to services and skills, and drive positive change in health behavior. I came.
This includes creating The Young Africa Live (YAL) smart bot that works 24/7 and provides information in the language of their choice.
To learn more about accessing and benefiting from this initiative, young people can sign up by typing hello on WhatsApp at +27 60 071 7844 and following the on-screen instructions.