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Engaging Zambia’s youth in the fight against COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of the joint UN system in Zambia’s support to the Government of Zambia, UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth has facilitated the dissemination of youth-friendly information on COVID-19 through the TUNEME Platform – a mobile application aimed at empowering young people to make choices about their bodies, rights, love life and health.

Alongside providing factual and age appropriate information to young people, the platform has sought to address various myths and misconceptions around COVID-19, primarily disseminated through social media.

The updating of the TUNEME mobisite with youth-friendly COVID-19 messages was deemed particularly important, noting that young people are the largest users of social media and therefore at higher risk of exposure to myths and misinformation spread primarily through social media.

In this regard, the TuneMe platform aims to contribute towards delivering content that empowers young people to make informed choices and adopt appropriate prevention behaviours against COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, UNFPA Zambia continues to explore innovative platforms where adolescents and young people can share their concerns and access accurate information, along with critical information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, and other important life skills such as how to cope with mental health stressors and build a positive attitude.

QUOTES

“Adolescents and young people can play an important role in mitigating risks and preventing the spread of the coronavirus if empowered with accurate, age appropriate information delivered through user friendly digital platforms such as TuneMe” - Mr Kakuwa Musheke, Senior Youth Development Officer, Ministry of Youth , Sport and Child Development.

“With the prevailing disruption of routine spaces for adolescents and young people, such as schools and youth friendly centers closing due to COVID-19, TuneMe presents an innovative way of continuity in the provision of information and support to adolescents and young people on both sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as on COVID-19 prevention” - Ms Gift Malunga, UNFPA Zambia Representative

“Now, more than ever, we must collaborate with young people as partners. By supporting them to develop essential life skills, we can empower them to protect their health and well-being, as well as those around them. Young people must be given the space they need to be industrious and to forge innovative solutions to create the post COVID-19 future they want for themselves, their peers and their communities” Dr Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

ABOUT TUNEME

With support from UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), Ford Foundation and Prakelet Foundation, the “TuneME” mobisite was launched in October 2015 in Zambia as an mHealth platform to support young people in accessing relevant information on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and linkages to services.

The platform is managed by the Ministry of Youth Sports and Child Development in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

Visit Site: http://zm.tuneme.org/