On the 29th March 2019, SAfAIDS Eswatini held the MobiSAfAIDS app launch at the Lobamba clinic. The launch brought together a range of government and civil society key-players (SAM Champions) working to address adolescent and sexual reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) in Eswatini. Particularly impressive was the range of stakeholders from both government representatives and from the CSO sector.
This was a 1-day event that was divided into two parts, the first part being the official launch of the app and the second part being the demand creation and skills building. Notable participants of the event included Ms. Rejoice Nkambule, Deputy Director from the Ministry of Health Officials, Ms. Lindiwe Dlamini, Director Educational Testing, Counselling, Guidance and Psychology Service Unit from the Ministry of Education Officials, ASRH Technical Working Group Members that include Bantwana, SNYC, PSI, AMICAAL, FLAS, NERCHA, URC, and PACT, Lobamba Community authorities, Nurses, Young people, SAM Champions and Khulisa Umntfwana. The Lobamba indvuna yenkhundla (constituency headman) welcomed all the participants at the clinic and was excited about the programme brought by the Ministry of Health with the support from SAfAIDS. He asked the young people to utilize this advanced technology. There were speeches from Dumsile Dlamini; Lobamba Clinic Senior Nurse who spoke on the client health service charter. Thembekile Morena AMICAAL as Programme Manager, spoke on the solidarity and pledged support to the implementation of the SAM4YSRH project on behalf of other CSOs.
The key note address and official launch was done by Ms. Rejoice Nkambule, Deputy Director from the Ministry of Health who said these words;
“Looking at the MobiSAfAIDS application, we are excited on the opportunities it brings for us in closing the interaction between our young people and the Ministry of Health. It is timely, as we are aware that most young people are using mobile technology. Furthermore, the evidence generated through this application will assist us to make critical policy decisions aimed at improving the accessibility, utilization and quality of sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people. As a Ministry, we are committed to the integration of the application as part of our feedback system in this facility, and also learn from the project on how best this can be done strategically. We encourage civil society here-present to explore how feedback mechanisms and health seeking behaviours can be promoted in communities where access to mobile phones is low for young people”– Ms. Rejoice Nkambule, Deputy Director from the Ministry of Health
The second part of the programme was SAM4YSR edutainment, whereby young people were engaged on SRH educational session through drama, question and answer session. The SAM Champions conducted small groups sessions on the MobiSAfAIDS application, ensuring that the participants register on the app. As a result of this, over 250 people were reached and 9 people registered on the app. As an organisation, we continue to be open to learning the challenges experienced in the use of technology in SRH overtime, a new space and approach to social accountability monitoring.