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Youth  and technology in health

By Faridah Nanyonjo - HAG

Health Rights Action Group (HAG) is a civil society organization committed to promoting improved knowledge of and access to human rights for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

 

Although Rhino camp secondary school had a computer lab, the use of internet was minimal. The formal briefings and messages on HIV prevention by teachers, healthcare workers and other stakeholders used not to be actively listened to by the students. HAG provided the school with two modems for use by both teachers and students to confidently accesses HIV/AIDS and SRH related information. With the introduction of new dissemination methods such as mobile phones, computer packaged HIV prevention messages and recorded drama skits, young people got attracted to listening to these health messages which later triggered their active involvement in HIV /AIDS preventive campaign.

Promotion of access to computers and internet use among students in Rhino camp enabled them to confidently access SRH related information in private internet cafes in the local home towns during school holidays. Young people became confident while accessing SRH information and services from nearby health centres. The relationship between teachers and students has greatly improved with the introduction of ICT. Teachers became less-judgemental and approachable to the students. They are now confident when using ICT to communicate SRH information to students.

With the use of internet, the young people in Rhino camp, have become excited about the easy access of information on SRH and HIV/AIDS.

 

Board games: An innovative approach for teenager health education

By Sarah Nalule  - Health Child

 

 

In our work as a Non Government Organization to improve maternal and child health indicators in Uganda, Health Child continuously innovates ways using ICT tools to reach children with valuable health knowledge and skills.  Health Child is currently using board games to facilitate health discussions among in and out of school teenagers on prevention of pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. It is the ordinary ludo, snakes and ladders and solitaire games that you may have come across however; these games have been customized depicting various health related content specific to the theme of the game. The health content is designed as part of the games and is consumed by the players through interaction in form of quizzes, health roadblocks and dialogues. This makes it possible for the players and game spectators to consume correct health information in the process of playing the game.

Digitalizing health content games provides more avenues for  children to access them via more ICT tools such as phones, computers and ipads.

Achan Lamula, beneficiary of the game shares her experience:

I am Achan Lamula and I am 13 years old. I live in Masese 1 village, Jinja Dristrict. I am a pupil of Lake Site Primary School and I am in primary six. My dream is to be a Doctor in the future.

I knew Health Child Organization because their offices are just nearby our home but I never knew their work until two days ago when they visited our school and introduced a game called snakes and ladders. The game was familiar when we first saw it but never did we recognize that it had different rules for playing it.

Health Child staff explained this new game and  the messages that are found in it. Afterwards I was carried away by the messages, looking at the life that I have been living with my friends. I never thought at any point that some friends that I have has a bad influence on me until I learned from the messages what bad groups can lead you into. We were the girls that would never deny the opportunity when it comes along our way like asking for money from boys, asking boys to buy for us chapatti and promised them sex in return, I never had respect for my parents and when I come back from school I will go for a walk around the village with my friends.

All the bad messages were placed in cells where the head of the snakes lie to bite you. When I looked where the ladders are, only good information with things you can do to excel in life.

From this information I knew that I had to change my life by dressing decently, abstaining from sex, even if there is no food at home, not to go after boys’ money or sugar daddies and also not to engage myself in bad groups.

My advice:  when playing the game; pay more attention to the information that is printed on the board because it will help you improve on your life and also help you make right choices to stay in school and finish your education. Avoid bad groups and listen to advice from your parents.

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