Oky App for Tanzanian Girls
A period tracking app tailored for girls in Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 27 May 2022 - For a long time, young girls have faced many challenges with Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH). From the lack of availability of menstrual products and the lack of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools, to the lack of informed knowledge on MHH and facing discrimination from society. The stress and worry girls in Tanzania have from not knowing when their period will happen, eventually leads to the girls reducing their participation and even missing school entirely.
As part of the response to this, UNICEF Tanzania partnered with Tai Tanzania, R-Labs, and Mingati, to localize Oky, a period tracking app for girls in Tanzania. While Oky has been popular in other parts of the globe, it was new to Tanzania. The goal was to fashion a child-friendly period tracking app that not only assists in predicting menstrual cycles but also aids with informed knowledge on MHH and Sexual Reproductive Health.
“The app is very interesting, and I can find anything I want from the app. It is educative in nature and practical too”
Oky had its very first user testing on the 12th of May 2022 held during Innovation Week Exhibitions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Facilitated by Tai Tanzania, Mingati, R-Labs, and UNICEF Tanzania, the testing had 18 young girls explore the application, for the very first time. “The app is very interesting, and I can find anything I want from the app. It is educative in nature and practical too,” exclaimed Sophia, one of the girls who attended the testing session. The testing was the baseline research that aimed at collecting information from the users on how Oky can be calibrated to best suit Tanzanian girls. As some of the girls had been using other period tracking apps that did not provide them with relevant information.
The girls were fascinated as they explored the app and were elated to find contextually relevant information within the app, which is set to be enhanced by incorporating Swahili in the design. “The Oky app is beautiful, it is amazing and unique compared to other menstrual tracking apps. It can help avoid misunderstanding about our health,” said Careen, a Tanzanian girl during the first user testing of the app.
This project supports UNICEF’s MHH awareness objective, which is to have improved menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent girls as well as improve knowledge on menstrual hygiene among young girls. Through this program, young girls will have access to accurate information on MHH, practices and proper management.