16 February 2017

Kenya: JKUAT Students Develop Sexual Reproductive Health App

A group of six students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology created SophieBot, an application revolutionizing access to sexual health information in Kenya. According to a post on the JKUAT website, "Sophie is an intelligent system that is fed with verified information on sexuality and sexual reproductive health and relays the information to its users through conversations that are driven by text or voice chats. Her features include anonymous forums and digital chat bots built in on the app, Facebook, Telegram, Messenger and Twitter."

Likened to the Artificial Intelligence Apple program Siri, Sophie Bot sources its answers from 10,000 base questions. Striving to be better with every user who signs up to the program, the SophieBot team continues to make changes to ensure it serves users better. The innovation features a chatbot where users can ask questions to Sophie. It also includes a forum where individuals could anonymously ask questions to a community of users.

The young group of passionate millennials is lead by Irving Amukusa, an undergraduate student studying Actuarial Science. He is a self-taught developer with a passion for tech. Derick Mureithi a Software developer who was ranked first runner-up in Hack4Farming by Awhere with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation holds the title of Chief Technology Officer. The team of six also includes Rashid Beduni Mwagonga, Nicholas Wambua, John Nzau Makau and the only woman on the team Beverly Mutindi, Chief Financial Officer.

Although the team has faced several challenges including funding the idea, they got their big break in 2016 when they exhibited their idea at the Nailab. According to Business Daily, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Nailab, hosted the event. SophieBot was among the lucky 4 announced as winning innovations around sex involved in an iAccelerator programme. The app is set to demystify the sensitive subject matter of sex, sexually transmitted disease and more by giving the youth access to the information right on their phones.


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