An interactive voice response system platform that will help women of childbearing age easily access family planning services by describing to them the benefits and likely costs of the chosen contraceptives; using their preferred language while linking them to the nearest health facility.
We Help’s interactive voice response system was designed to help adolescents aged 15-19 and the youth aged 18-35 who want to get the right information on contraceptives in their preferred languages by providing to them confidential and real time information through a toll free number and instilling into them the rightful information on contraceptives and directing them to the nearest equipped health facility.
The idea is leveraging existing interactive voice response system to avail the rightful information in different preferred languages and directions to the nearest equipped health facility in order to eliminate the stigma that has greatly reduced the use of contraceptives in Uganda.
Adolescents and youth fear talking about contraception because sex is secret and most people do not want to talk about it. Currently, they’re getting information directly from the health personnel, but if we offer confidentiality and real-time information in their preferred language, we’ll observe better expression of concerns on contraceptives. The We Help Team has designed an IVR system platform to be used by adolescents and youth to access family planning services.
Progress and Results
Experiments have been focused on further improving the IVR prototype with intent on testing the user experience to determine whether the target beneficiaries are comfortable and able to use the service on their own. The experiment also revealed that translation into local languages requires more work.
- Needs Assessment: The conducted a discovery on whether young adolescents aged 15-19 can easily access phones to use our interactive voice response system. They wanted to find out if the adolescent and youth are comfortable talking to a machine rather than getting the information from the community or health personnel. They learnt that some adolescents can not access phones because they are at school and phones are not allowed; most times calls are forwarded but you are not attended to and most youth fear expressing themselves in public.
- Youth working through the IVR workflow on their own. This experiment was to discover the ability of the end-user to easily navigate the provided mobile number to access information on contraceptives & also the effectiveness of the call forwarding option in the IVR system platform in relation to access of information on contraceptives:
- Testing the experience of adolescents and youths accessing our IVR system on a toll-free number.
Challenges and Lessons Learnt
Feature vs smartphone usage- Most young people have more feature phones than smartphones which affected how participants interact with the application.
Translation challenges- Possible partnerships with the ministry of health would solve the translation challenge because the Ministry of Health does translations of health related messages into local languages