Growing up, menstruation and sex were taboo topics to talk about openly because with it came dire consequences like isolation and utter embarrassment. In fact, when it comes to menstruation, I remember back in high school I would hide my sanitary towel when going to change just so that no one knows am serving my time. That still happens even at work places for many women. Even as time has changed, there’s still a huge deal of shame around periods as they are regarded gross and dirty especially by men.
Adolescent pregnancy is a worldwide problem. In Sub-Saharan Africa, increasing number of girls are becoming mothers by the age of 18. According to WHO, approximately 14-15 million teenage girls and young women become mothers every year and this accounts for more than 10% of births worldwide (WHO/UNFPA, 2006). Adolescent pregnancy is a result of early unprotected sexual intercourse experience at a small age with lack of knowledge concerning reproductive health in East Africa
Girls need to know the correct information about their reproductive and menstrual health so they can make informed decisions. Creating a safe space to talk about this possibly awkward or uncomfortable topic allows the girls to ask sensitive questions and access factual information to dispel any commonly held myths about reproductive health.
Introducing HEDHI Mobile APP.
HEDHI APP aims at increasing awareness to Women and adolescents concerning menstruation cycle which will help them to avoid pregnancy and give chances to those women who want to conceive. The App is written in Swahili making it easy to be used by many women and adolescents in the East African region especially Tanzania. This is a project by Anuflo Industries Limited, a Tanzania registered Company whose main goal is to manufacture and supply hygiene, sanitation and skin care products.
The Hedhi Mobile App was necessary due to Lack of knowledge on menstrual cycle, and reproductive health in general among young girls and boys
I spoke to the founder, Ms Flora (Inset) who reiterated the importance of this app to her home country of Tanzania. “This application was developed in partnership with an Obstetrician Gynecologist, we believe this application will support the government effort to reduce adolescent pregnancy and school drop out, ultimately reduce maternal mortality come 2020 which has been found to be high among adolescents.,“ Said Ms Flora.
For those who desire to become pregnant, The Hedhi Mobile app assists them to identify their fertile days so as to plan pregnancy with their partners. The app also provides a platform for Gynaecology consultation which is a private affair between the user and the Gynaecologist. The app also allows for a forum whereby people share different experience with regard to menstrual cycle.
- To reduce early and unplanned pregnancy
- To help women to know their menstrual cycle
- To help Women tracking their fertile days which will help them plan conception with their partner.
- Remind them about ovulation and chances to get pregnant
- Help users to communicate with gynecologist about their menstrual issues
- A forum which users will use to share their experience about menstruation
- Women and young girls will be able to track their periods
- Women will be able to plan about when they want to conceive
- It will help in family planning
- It will help in terms of language barrier between users (the app is in Swahili)
Understanding one’s menstrual cycle can significantly reduce adolescent pregnancies, and this is more so among adolescent girls and boys who are not well informed of their body physiology.
Apart from the mobile app, Anuflo industries also produces disposable toilet seat covers and reusable menstrual cups which stay for almost twelve hours before changing and can be used up to ten years.