App to help prevent teen pregnancies

In a bid to fight the scourge of teenage pregnancy and unsafe backdoor abortions, a new cellphone app has been introduced which allows young people easy access to information about sex education.

It is a joint effort between the Eastern Cape Department of Health, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and LoveLife.

The app also allows youngsters to locate a clinic closest to them and ask questions they would normally shy away from asking. It is being rolled out at clinics in Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo districts.

Health MEC Pumza Dyantyi said the new app was aimed at decreasing teenage pregnancy, maternal deaths, HIV-Aids infections among young people and to put a stop to unsafe abortions.

“In 2014, we identified Nzululwazi [Senior Secondary School in Mount Frere], which had about 68 pregnant girls,” Dyantyi said.

“This year only three girls are pregnant and the school’s results have improved drastically.”

The information is relayed to Bhisho as well as clinics via the app. The system is built into a LoveLife mobisite which can be accessed at

The information will also be fed into the national healthcare system at provincial level.

Grade 11 pupil Siphenathi Mapoyi, 17, gave a thumbs-up to the new innovation.

“I have seen many young girls drop out of school after falling pregnant. Maybe with the right kind of information, my generation will be able to make informed choices when it comes to sexual matters,” she said.

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