Two medical students tackle reproductive health challenge in Rwanda
Two medical students from the University of Rwanda have developed an application that aims to teach teenagers about reproductive health. Tantine was developed by Sylvie Uhirwa and Sylvain Muzungu Uhirwa after the pair saw a need to educate teenagers about reproductive health. The app is available for download on Google Play Store.
The medical students recently shared the app in Mahama camp in southern Rwanda, home to 50,000 Burundian refugees.
Tantine allows teens to access reproductive health related information via online experts. The application will work with a team of medical professionals and psychologists to deliver reproductive health education, mentorship and counselling services to young people.
In 2015, Tantine won the “Youth Spark Innovation Grant” which was an initiative by The Resilient Africa Network in partnership with USAID and Makerere University School. The pair used the prize money to build a website which contained reproductive health information and youth mentorship.
Sylvie and Sylvain were selected as one of four initiatives at the iAaccelerator challenge 2017. The twins received $10,000 for developing an application to address reproductive health issues in Rwanda. They used half of the funds to develop the android application, website content as well as further developments to the platform.
“For people in the camp to access the internet, they don’t have smart phones or they don’t have enough facilities. That’s why we thought of bringing those tablets and establishing a centre where they come and then access the internet in the camp. So we are going to equip them with those tablets and then a router with Wi-Fi,” said Sylvie.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) believe that this app will inspire more people to use technology to find new approaches to tackle sexual and reproductive health challenges.
“You have also young people who are in the community that is not in schools. Those young people and youth, they also need that information. So you have really to have an approach which is holistic and which is also multi-sectoral so that at least each and every young person can have access to that information,” said Therese Karugwiza, a gender a human rights program specialist at UNFPA.