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Medtech News South Africa

B-Wise Symposium to showcase transformative insights on youth empowerment through digital health

The Department of Health in collaboration with Reach Digital Health, Avert, and the Elton John Aids Foundation will convene a virtual symposium in June 2024 to share insights and discuss the impact, learnings, and future opportunities for leveraging digital health to improve access to sexual, reproductive and mental healthcare for young people.
B-Wise Symposium to showcase transformative insights on youth empowerment through digital health

The B-Wise Symposium will take place via Zoom on 13 June 2024 and this will be a platform to release the results of baseline and end-line surveys conducted on the B-Wise Smart Bot in the country last year. The B-Wise Smart Bot addresses the challenges faced by young people in a society where discussions on sexual health often remain taboo or are stigmatised and the results of the surveys show some strong evidence of the platform’s ability to change attitudes, knowledge, and behaviours among its users.

The B-Wise Smartbot, coupled with extensive Facebook outreach, represents a pioneering effort under the department's interactive digital health initiative, B-Wise Health, which was conceived in response to pressing issues highlighted by high rates of teenage pregnancy and HIV infections among young people in South Africa. The initiative draws on the insights from the 2012 Youth Sex Survey, which revealed a significant gap in open discussions about sexual health within families.

By offering a private, Artificial Intelligence-driven chat solution on WhatsApp and engagement on Facebook, B-Wise empowers young individuals aged 15-24 in South Africa to seek information and support without fear of judgement, providing them with the tools they need for informed health choices 24/7/365.

Symposium presenters will provide an overview of the B-Wise by Young Africa Live project, share an analysis of the baseline and endline surveys on the platform's reach, impact, and potential, and discuss areas for growth, including enhancements, sustainability, and future collaborations. The gathering will also offer the opportunity for participants to pose questions to a panel about the surveys as well as the broader role of digital health interventions in supporting young people.

The research-driven symposium is open to organisations and individuals working in youth support and development globally, including health educators, peer educators, policymakers, and digital health innovators. It offers a unique opportunity to understand the role of digital platforms such as AI and Chat in modern youth engagement and health education.

Event details:

Date: Thursday, 13 June 2024
Time: 10am/ 2pm GMT/ 4pm SAST
Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Participants interested in attending can register via here

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Health Departmental Spokesperson

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Spokesperson for Health Minister
063 657 8487

About B-Wise by Young Africa Live

B-Wise, by Young Africa Live, is a South African National Department of Health platform that provides young people with sexual health information. For more information about accessing and benefiting from this initiative, young people can simply WhatsApp “Hi” to +27 60 071 7844 and follow the prompts to sign up.

About Young Africa Live

B-Wise by Young Africa Live is the South African implementation of Reach Digital Health's Young Africa Live (YAL), an easy-to-use digital platform that integrates seamlessly into existing healthcare systems, connecting young people with physical healthcare resources, facilities, and practitioners through mediums they're already familiar with – WhatsApp and social media.

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