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Ministry of Gender launches mobile app to strengthen reporting of sexual violence and dissemination of reproductive health information

Kampala, Uganda. The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development and UNFPA Uganda and have launched a mobile application, SafePal, to enable young people report sexual violence and to promote communication and exchange of information   on sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV.

The SafePal application was launched by the State Minister for Youth and children Affairs, Hon.  Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi and the UNFPA Representative Mr. Alain Sibenaler.

SafePal is a digital platform that was created in 2015 by a group of young people with support from UNFPA, to respond to the challenge of the low levels of reporting sexual violence.  the team of young developrs includes:  Emmanuel Kateregga, Rachel Achen, Nurah Nantume, Jingo Kisakye, Joshua Okello and Gitta Brian.

With support from UNFPA and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Ministry of  Gender, Labour and Social Development has now  upgraded SafePal into a fully-fledged interactive application to promote communication and information exchange on gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and malaria among young people, in addition to supporting reporting cases of sexual violence.

Speaking at the launch in Kampala recently, Mr. Sibenaler noted that SafePal is proof of young people’s energy and creativity, and an example of the constructive role that youth-led innovations can play in social change.  

 

He applauded the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development for scaling up the scope and coverage of Safepal.   “More young people will now be able to confidentially report GBV cases as they happen in their communities and also contribute to access and accurate information sharing and learning on HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and sexual and reproductive health,” he said.

 

Mr. Sibenaler noted that the SafePal app  will also provide  an innovative way to reach more young people with information and services as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, creating disruptions in social activities and leading to an increase in violence in homes and communities.

 

“Now more than ever, there’s need to look out for society’s most vulnerable by creating awareness on community vigilance to these inhumane acts as well as support reporting in the easiest, inexpensive, accessible and responsive ways”, he said.

 

In her remarks, Hon. Nakiwala said sexual violence continues to remain a challenge in the country, with 22% of women having experienced sexual violence. She noted that sexual violence has diverse impacts on young people, including physical and mental health outcomes.

Cases of sexual and gender-based violence reported through Safepal will be linked to the Ministry of Gender’s Sauti Child Helpline on Short code 116, Hon. Nakiwala explained.

 

How to use the SafePal App

  • Download the app from Google Play Store
  • To report, click on the report icon, and start the reporting process.
  • Fill in details including a telephone number on which a service provider can reach you
  • Once a case is submitted, the system will provide a dashboard through which service providers can view reported cases, and reach out to the survivor.

  

 

By Martha Songa