You are here

Youth urged to create digital solutions to help tackle HIV and AIDS

On the sidelines of 2018 Transform Africa Summit under the theme ‘Accelerating Africa’s Single Digital Market’, the youth forum was held under the theme, “The New Lens: Know. Treat. Suppress.” Whereby young innovators were challenged to create digital innovations that can help tackle health epidemics such as HIV and AIDS.

Young people often face barriers to sexual and reproductive health information and services, making them extremely vulnerable to diseases and unintended pregnancies, which impede their ability to access education and employment.

With support from UKAID and UNFPA, Imbuto Foundation began the Innovation Accelerator (iAccelerator); a programme that encourages young people to think critically and creatively about issues related to sexual and reproductive health and seeks to generate innovative, youth-led solutions to these issues. The top four innovative solutions, which bring access to quality sexual and reproductive information and services for young people, received $10,000 in grant, while selected innovators were coached, mentored and trained under the programme.

Through initiatives such as iAccelerator, we are reminded that once involved given the right platforms, the youth will contribute solutions that further engage, educate, empower our communities to thrive and live the dignified lives we are all entitled to.” Umutoni Sandrine, Director General, Imbuto Foundation said.

The fight against HIV and AIDS requires all partners to stay on top of prevention and treatment efforts.

Just as much as there is a growing conversation about economic transformation, it is imperative to ensure that the young people have good health” said Mark Bryan Schreiner, the United Nations Population Fund Country Representative

Despite the tremendous achievements in the region, critical issues still need to be addressed. Young people in many contexts are not often engaged in policy formulation and decisions-making processes.

Girls and women in particular are still facing more obstacle than young men and boys in building their capabilities, as they are affected by harmful practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, early and unplanned pregnancies, poor access to health and limited education,” Schreiner said.

On her part, Minister of Youth, Honorable Rosemary Mbabazi challenged parents to engage their children on sexual and reproductive health issues to create openness and awareness, and help the youth lead responsible lives.

Established by First Lady of Rwanda, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, Imbuto Foundation, plays a key role in empowering youth, especially through education and other social support programmes.