Conversations for change
New Unicef podcasts highlight Avert’s work supporting innovative health literacy approaches
Published on 19 September 2023
Avert’s work supporting the knowledge needs of community health workers and peer educators through the Boost app, and increasing the life skills of low literacy girls in Mozambique through the Yaya app, have featured in a new Unicef series of podcasts ‘HIV reimagined: conversations for change’.
The episode ‘Apps, Bots, and Chats: innovations in health tech’ looks at how technology is being used to improve frontline services. Isabeli Mutasa and Sostain Moyo, two OPHID Community Outreach Agents using Avert’s Boost app in Zimbabwe talk about how the app has changed the way they work and interact with their clients.
“It gives me confidence,” says Sostain, “and also the fact that I can put my information or library in my pocket on my phone – it's amazing! You don't need to stop the [client session] from going on and say ‘can you allow me to go and consult my books and come back’. You know, you just take your phone out, then you’re there!”
A second episode, ‘A youth takeover! Healthcare designed for the next generation’, features Avert’s Yaya lifeskills app, developed by Avert for VSO’s Eagle project for use by low literacy girls in Mozambique. The interviewer talks to Nelma Passe, a coordinator for VSO’s Eagle project, who worked closely with Avert throughout the co-creation of the app, engaging with groups of local girls to ensure Yaya was relevant, accessible, and fun.
It made the application more acceptable to the community because they had participated in its creation
“The impact of the co-creation process was very positive,” says Nelma. “It made the application more acceptable to the community because they had participated in its creation … The girls really, in exploring their ideas, developed self-esteem and were able to believe in themselves. They could express their opinions about sexuality and feel that they were important and involved in what was going on.”
Overall Unicef’s series provides unique insights from diverse perspectives that help nurture the vision of a healthier world for all. Other interviews in the series look at mental health, innovations in diagnostics, and multi-month dispensing.
Photo credit: Hilton Matyatya