National Adolescent Health Website and Mobile Application – Dnet

National Adolescent Health Website and Mobile Application

Commissioned By: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Project Duration: December, 2020 - July, 2021

Objective

The goal of the "National Adolescent Health Website and Mobile Application" was to provide adolescents in Bangladesh with greater access to health education materials, guidelines, and services by digital means.

Background

Bangladesh has experienced remarkable signs of progress in the area of health. However, a large population, specifically adolescents in Bangladesh, has a poor understanding of general health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues and concerns. Adolescence, the age period from 10 to 19, is characterized by one of the most critical stages of a human’s life. Bangladesh has an approximately 32 million adolescent and youth population, which constitutes more than one-fifth of the total population of Bangladesh (BBS, 2015). Despite the possibilities of countless opportunities, various mental health disorders such as substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies emerge in this age group. Even though the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have initiated numerous adolescent sexual and reproductive health projects, a large number of adolescents in Bangladesh, both in rural and urban areas, remain without access to mental, sexual, and reproductive knowledge and health care facilities. The lack of access to health education materials or the unavailability or gap in knowing the availability and accessibility of health-friendly services creates a huge barrier of challenges for adolescents' growth.

Approach

To develop the "National Adolescent Website including mobile applications", Dnet has provided technical support to UNICEF under the guidance of DGFP and DGHS. Through the platform, adolescents can receive educational materials about their health, required adolescent-friendly health services (AFHS), health-related training courses, telemedicine services, psychological support, and online safety and security guidelines with ease, inter-connectedness, and interactive features. In alignment with the objective, Dnet has also developed an intuitive mobile application for adolescents. The application also acts as a resource booth for health service providers, parents, relatives, and teachers. Moreover, a reporting panel has been developed for the stakeholders (government organizations, non-government organizations, researchers, policymakers, and decision-makers) with a detailed analysis of the use of the application by adolescents.

As the target audience for the website and mobile application are teenagers, Dnet has developed a user-friendly website with a simple interface, animated info-graphics, and easy-navigation tools. Interactive quiz games have been designed based on basic health assessment questions. The quiz content can help them attain knowledge about the best practices for health through entertainment and simplicity. We also added a section of case stories with the purpose of attracting the adolescents toward the core insights of the learning materials that are provided in the knowledge toolkit module. The stories will provide them with practical insights and lessons that they can incorporate into their daily lives. Using the platform, adolescents can receive notification and safety guideline messages on social stigma, cyber bullying, sexual health, mental health, road safety, and other topics.