UNICEF partners with the Australian Government to expand sexual and reproductive health support for girls through a mobile application across Indo-Pacific region
BANGKOK, 24 September 2021 – UNICEF East Asia and Pacific and the Australian Government have partnered to scale up Oky, the first digital period tracker designed for and with girls, across the Indo-Pacific region. This digital menstrual health and hygiene application provides important sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information to adolescent girls to help them better manage their health and wellbeing.
“COVID-19 has disrupted access to education and health services which are key sources of information and guidance for young people about sexual and reproductive health and rights across the region. This partnership with the Australian Government comes at the right time when lockdowns and disruption to health services are predicted to bring a surge in adolescent pregnancies and worsening infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. It is our hope that this newly launched application will help improve health outcomes for women and girls,” said Marcoluigi Corsi, Regional Director a.i. for East Asia and Pacific.
UNICEF uses menstrual health and hygiene as an entry point to provide girl-centred SRH information about menstruation, fertility, contraception, positive health behaviours and where to get help. While demand for online health information and content delivered on digital devices has surged during pandemic lockdowns, there is limited trustworthy, high-quality content available that is developed specifically for adolescent girls. There is a need for digital platforms that help girls in the Indo-Pacific region gain better access to credible, reliable SRH information and support.
Oky is the world’s first digital period tracker designed specifically for girls. Currently available in Mongolia and Indonesia, it provides evidence-based information about menstruation and SRH in fun, creative and positive ways, straight into girls’ hands through the digital tools they use every day. Oky is tailored to girls’ context, language and digital realities, and illustrates innovative tech design that tackles misconceptions, harmful practices and lack of quality information about menstruation and SRH for girls.
“In partnership with UNICEF East Asia and Pacific, the Australian Government is pleased to support Oky to reach more girls in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines over the next two years to provide the quality information they need. This initiative is part of the broader $44 million Indo-Pacific Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights COVID-19 Surge Response that Australia is providing to accelerate SRH services and rights in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Julie-Ann Guivarra, Australian Ambassador for Gender Equality, Government of Australia.
As an Open Source solution, Oky exemplifies how a digital public goods ecosystem - one with technologies and services equitably accessible - can greatly improve lives. The Digital Public Goods Alliance recently confirmed Oky as a Digital Public Good (DPG) and announced its listing on the DPG Registry. Digital solutions on the DPG Registry, which align with the values of Open Source and help achieve the SDGs, are committed to best practices and mitigating harm, and can be adapted and scaled across contexts.
For more information, please contact:
Caroline den Dulk, UNICEF EAPRO, email@example.com
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap