Increasing evidence from recent experiences in the districts are supporting effectiveness of using Helpline as catalyst for HIV/SRHR education, and broader health promotion, with significant change on level of knowledge, and adoption of safer reproductive health and sexual behaviours including reducing sexual partners, increased uptake of condom use, and uptake of STI/HIV test. The findings indicate that SMS/CALLS appear to be a feasible, popular, and effective method to engage young people. These interventions reported that young people were less likely to drop out of the SMS/CALL programme, and shared positive feedback about this innovative approach to reach and involve them in continuous education and behavioural change. Mobile phones are a promising method of health promotion, but a simple and low-cost way to obtain phone numbers is required to reach a wide population.
Business Model: 1. With the increase in numbers, our model is also using open source platforms like whatsapp which a cost-effective, whilst it is also important to note that with more traffic, more institutions are willing to pay to interact with the large pool of clients, recently the two institutions have been funding our platform to reach their target audience with content and polls. The mobile penetration rate in Zimbabwe is at 100,5% meaning that this is the greatest opportunity for us to build our database and harness the mobile youth dividend the access to mobile phones is 83.4% in rural and 86.5% in urban and mobile operators are targeting 100% coverage by 2020. A team of developers is being assembled to build on open source similar platforms like U-Report and ensure use of cloud-hosted cost-effective servers for scalability and replication in multiple sites. 2. To scale up to different areas is actually cheaper as the technology is cloud-hosted and hardware is cost effective. Making the platform open source will continuously allow incremental growth and cross-pollination of ideas by developers for easy replication in multiple sites. Product/Human Centred Design 1. We have noted the recommendation and are still working on the priorities, for us the Helpline is for content distribution and management, the mobile app is an information bank and the program is crucial for marketing the platform. 2. This is unique in its ability to centralize data and respond to multiple individuals with personalized responses linking them services in local communities and tracking utilization. 3. Working with a pool of 19056 clients in 4 districts. Current trends from the project have shown that majority (64%) of callers are females, in the age group of 15-24 years and the high volume of calls is directly linked to weekly bulk SMS. The most common reasons for calling the helpline were for HIV testing, teenage pregnancy, information about HIV/AIDS, care, and support services and referrals to other services not linked to HIV/AIDS. At least 63% of callers were referred to local service providers and 89% of the cases were tracked and closed. For pending cases, most phones were unavailable during follow-ups and few cited high costs of services as a barrier to access. Reasons for calling were linked to risk (HIV testing, condom use, PEP, PReP etc) in younger persons, and to avail of care, educational and career support services in the older age groups 20+years. For those who indicated that they are sexually active, a trend of low-risk perception has been observed and this has been a challenge that the Helpline is tackling through continuous development of theme-based WhatsApp and bulk SMS. It is also important to note that one of the biggest challenges has been the use of manual data entry in the call center that resulted in increased workload for counselors. An internal data collection web application is being developed by our IT department and we hope this will enhance data analysis and case management. Another gap has also been noted for callers after 5 pm and during weekends as the Helpline will be closed. This has resulted in the loss of at least 25% of the clients due to the limited capacity of our counselors. See also recent poll results on this link: https://zimbabwe.ureport.in/poll/2410/
The revenues are divided into, 1. Corporates and NGOs can pay to send specific campaign and competition content to our database 2. Researchers also make payments to reach and interact with our database which has every mobile number as a data point for polls and special campaigns 3. Subscriptions are also made by corporates to distribute marketing message Piloting project has been done in 9 districts targeting adolescents girls and young women under the PEPFAR funded DREAMS project. From this project, we realized that more young people are opting to use our platform to seek counseling and referrals for services and local NGOs are willing to pay for us to track clients referrals whilst addressing loss to follow up. You can also have a look at a recent poll on use of our platform https://zimbabwe.ureport.in/poll/2410/