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Finding a better access to HIV/AIDS and STI care without compromising privacy.

Cumasu aims to implement a mobile platform to address the underused access to sexual counseling in developing nations.

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What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?

One of the most pressing challenges in developing nations is the underused access to sexual counseling referring to HIV/AIDS and STIs due to a lack of privacy, social stigma, and social instability. The groups that are most affected by this are women of all ages, homosexuals, and transexuals not allowing them to seek out the health care they deserve due to social norms governing sexual behavior.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?

I am still trying to figure out how I can incentives people to utilize the application, as well as if I should design the user interface to be run through simple SMS texting or Audio implementation. Another question of mine is how to monetize this to simply re-invest into Cumasu to make it as scalable as possible and impact the lives of as many people.

Explain Your Idea

The user may request an appointment by texting to a particular number which will access the database of the right clinics to demonstrate vacant time slots for the user to choose from. After receiving a second text with the time slots, the user texts the time of preference, and upon confirmation, the user receives a confirmation number to demonstrate to the health clinic to see a doctor or nurse without waiting in lines that could result in economic productivity, as well as, ridden the psychological pressure of feeling exposed to the community.

Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).

Firstly, this solution would impact the end users by making privacy the ultimate factor for them to go to voluntary check-ups. It will allow for users to remain completely anonymous when seeking care about a potential HIV/AIDS or STI infection. Secondly, looking at a macro level, it will affect the end users economically, because if first of all, we can save them time from the waiting lines to be economically more productive, we are creating an immediate impact, however, in the long-term run, it will affect the population by not letting people die in their most productive years of their lives. Thirdly, this application with its database would allow clinics to more data-driven to improve their outreach program and understand their users.

How is your idea unique?

There are many other organizations that work with SMS-based technology for various causes, including one particular one in Uganda which aims to encourage people for voluntary check-ups through a quiz which would allow for users to constantly answer questions to be more educated. Since Kampala, Uganda is the first place I would like to pilot with a health clinic I am in touch with, I believe that my mobile platform encourages them seeking voluntary check-ups by addressing the care-seeking behavior problem of not being able to be anonymous while seeking help. Through Cumasu, they interact with a chatbot which will both let them know about their situations, as well as, make appointments if needed, making the access to health care more reasonable for them access.

What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?

One of my outstanding concerns is if we are helping them to be reminded about their appointments by also giving them options of time slots if they will respect the time and show up. Another question of mine is how I can incentive health clinics in making use of the application and partnering with Cumasu besides just helping them to be more efficient with their work.

Who are your end users?

My end users are low-income, rural inhabitants in developing nations facing trouble accessing health care for HIV/AIDS and STIs, as many of these users are forced into sex work involuntarily to make a living. These users as a result of contracting any of these diseases and infections would ostracize them from their communities due to social stigma allowing the male counterpart to run away with it, whereas women, homosexuals, and transsexuals have to deal with the consequences at all times.

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Uganda

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Epidemic

Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in

I aim to implement this mobile platform due to its low-tech implementation in rural areas in developing nations. One aspect to consider is that HIV/AIDS and STIs thrive in places where it is run over by war and poverty. In such settings, I need to put into account cultural, infrastructure challenges, and utilization of technology.

What is your organization's name?

Cumasu

Tell us more about you.

I am an individual who works with two other people on this current project which is in its ideation phase. I am in search for a collaborator in particular knowledgeable on how to code a chatbox through Twilio without having to use existing SMS-based solution services.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women-led organization
  • Youth-led organization
  • International/global organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Still in planning phase and does not exist yet

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • No, not yet.

Expertise in Sector

  • Have not worked in sector, but excited to learn more.

Organization Location

Currently, I am based in Boulder, Co where I am part of a social innovation incubator.

What is your organizational status?

  • Not registered but plan to in the future.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Early Stage Innovation: exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.

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