South Africa has a high prevalence of teenage and unwanted pregnancies, HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) and sexually active men and women continue to be vulnerable. In the last decade, South Africa has expanded its sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) policies in the areas of abortion, contraception, youth and HIV treatment, with the largest antiretroviral therapy programme in the world. However, there is still a lot to be done as these interventions alone are not enough to strengthen sexual and reproductive health in South Africa.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights encompass efforts to eliminate preventable maternal and neonatal mortality, ensure quality sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptive services, and address sexually transmitted infections (STI) and cervical cancer. Those working in the space also work to reduce violence against women and girls and address the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health is essential, not only to achieve sustainable development but also to ensure that this new framework speaks to the needs and aspirations of people around the world and leads to realization of their health and human rights.
In line with this, EpiAFRIC is organizing a hackathon which aims at developing tech-based solutions for sexual and reproductive health in South Africa, through an intensive, group-based, and collaborative two-day approach. The Health Meets Tech Hackathon will focus on improving the quality of services for sexual and reproductive health across South Africa.
Innovations in technology have driven growth in other sectors such as banking and telecommunications, and many organizations are beginning to see opportunities in the health space in South Africa. Following the success of our first hackathon in Lagos, Nigeria and the second in Nairobi, Kenya, EpiAFRIC in partnership with Impact hub Johannesburg, Nalane for Reproductive Justice and Nigeria Health Watch are hosting the third in the series of the Health Meets Tech Application Challenge sponsored by Facebook. At the hackathon, teams of five or less consisting of health professionals and software developers will create applications that will contribute to improving sexual and reproductive health rights in South Africa. The hackathon will focus on the following themes:
- Access i.e. mapping health facilities, services provided, locations, linkages to referral services and their opening times
- Patient-centered care i.e. collating patient reviews that focuses on clients’ experiences so that clients can rate the quality of care received
- Emergency care i.e. creating mobile rapid response platforms for health emergency and a curated network of clinics qualified to deliver services in sexual and reproductive health.
The hackathon is scheduled to hold as follows:
Date: November 29th – 30th, 2018
Time: 9:00am daily
Venue: 9 Walters St, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
The sexual and reproductive health rights hackathon will be streamed live on EpiAFRIC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/epiafric) Follow the hashtag #HealthMeetsTechSA for live updates on Twitter.