Benin: Developing Confidence - A digital solution to managing STIs during the COVID-19 outbreak

Madjidath is a young global influencer from Benin who is working with Plan International’s Girls Get Equal campaign to develop our freedom online strategy.

Madjidath is a young global influencer from Benin who is working with Plan International’s Girls Get Equal campaign to develop our freedom online strategy. A young entrepreneur, last month she took part in the #AfricaVsVirus challenge which gave her an opportunity to create a technology-based solution to tackle a pressing challenge created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual ideathon brought together socially committed citizens worldwide, including problem solvers, creative minds, health experts, programmers, graphic and web-designers in a 72-hour digital collaborative process to create ground-breaking solutions to address some of the social and economic challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Madjidath and her team decided to create a web and mobile application for the challenge, with the aim of helping young people in lockdown deal with sexually transmitted infections. Here she speaks about the challenge and how the application was developed.

“Between environmental, economic, educational and other challenges, we focused on the health challenges faced by young and vulnerable people. After my application was selected, I could not have imagined that I would have such a rich and diverse experience working with a team of young people from diverse backgrounds.

In my team, I became the web editor and digital marketer. Our starting point was to look at the problem, then come up with a solution. My involvement in these aspects and especially the fact that I worked virtually from Parakou, a city in Benin, changed my vision of team working and made the AfricaVsVirus Challenge very special.

Because of the coronavirus, millions of people are confined to their homes or have had their movements limited. This unusual situation is preventing people suffering from sexually transmitted  access health care and follow-up services from specialised health workers.

To help while there are travel restrictions, which is reducing the risk of exposure and COVID-19 infection, my team and I proposed Confidence. It is a web and mobile app that enables people to connect online with doctors, psychologists, gynaecologists and specialists.

The Confidence app provides young people suffering from infections with access to a directory of services and health workers as well as their contact details. The platform also includes a hotline and chat box for instant discussions and provides weekly notifications with tips on looking after your health, sexuality, stress management and developing good behaviours.

As young people are more sexually active, the platform offers a comprehensive sexual and reproductive education session through interactive content which includes quizzes and games. In addition, Confidence makes it possible for our clients to make online orders of medical and preventive items such as contraception and coronavirus test kits and have them delivered to your home.

Despite the weakness and instability of internet connections, especially for me, my team managed to design and submit a prototype of the application. After the design phase, comes the implementation. We plan to evolve the project as it will also be relevant after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. We now hope to secure the funding and launch the application in the near future.”

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