"Oky", an application co-created with girls and for girls to improve the reproductive health
Created by UNICEF, Oky is an application adapted to the Burundian context by SACODE to meet the menstrual health needs of Burundian girls and women.
Thanks to the support of UNICEF, the health Community development (SACODE) organization officially launched the “Oky” application on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, with the theme “Menstruation without taboos with Oky”.
The ceremonies were chaired by Dr. Clémentine IRAKOZE, Representative of the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS (MPSLS), who delivered the keynote address on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS. Also present were the General Director of the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Samuel Niyubahwe, as well as other executives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Communication. UNICEF was represented by Dorica Mahandriray, Deputy Representative a.i., along with 30 young participants aged 16-20, some of whom live with disabilities.
At the start of the ceremony, the representative of the Ministry of Health spoke of the lack of information on biological change linked to menstruation which many young girls are confronted with: “In Burundian context menstruation is surrounded by silence myth and taboo and is also subject to certain stigmatization. These girls don’t always know about biological changes including menstrual cycle or about infections linked to poor menstrual practices and some don’t have means to buy sanitary protection they need,” emphasizes Clémentine IRAKOZE. As a result she adds school absenteeism leads to girls dropping out altogether.
The representative of Ministry of Health concluded by expressing her gratitude to partners. “With these words I officially launch OKY application: long live health for all long live reproductive health in Burundi.”
The “OKY” mobile app aims to provide information about menstruation in a creative fun and positive way. It will be a valuable tool for girls and women giving them access to reliable information to help them better understand themselves and stay healthy.
Created by UNICEF “OKY” is world’s first period tracking and reproductive health education app designed for and with young girls. The app features menstrual cycle counters calendars and personalized advice. “OKY is tool well suited to education adolescents young people thanks OKY’s playful design young girls can personalize app choose unlock avatars take quizzes menstrual health.”
On behalf UNICEF Representative Dorica Mahandriray will give overview situation Burundi regarding young girls’ knowledge menstruation. “According study carried out UNICEF 2016 only 19% girls interviewed admitted having correct information menstruation before first period today situation not yet changed given stigma taboos still reign over menstruation,” he said.
Françoise Niyibizi Executive Director SaCodé then expressed heartfelt thanks all those contributed technical financial development “OKY” application.
Towards end ceremony panel made up MSPLS representative 5 100 girls co-created app formed talk importance positive impact app will have among Burundi’s young people teenagers.
Available Playstore “OKY” app adapted Burundian context benefit young Burundian girls also translated Kirundi French SACODE thanks UNICEF financial support.