By: Gail T. Momblan
SOME 46.1 percent of young people in Western Visayas do not have any source of information about sex, the recent Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4) revealed.
YAFS 4 is a cross-sectional surveys on the Filipino youth aged 15-24. It is conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) to provide updated information on a broad range of sexuality and reproductive health issues.
The study also indicated that majority of the youth in the country do not feel they have adequate knowledge about sex.
In fact, only 31 percent of males and 24 percent of females said they have enough knowledge about sex.
To address this matter, the Commission on Population in Western Visayas developed “AHlam Na!”, a mobile application on Adolescent Health (AH), POPCOM VI Regional Director Harold Alfred Marshall said.
“AHlam Na!” was derived from the young people’s expression “alam na”, which means something was validated.
The “AH” added at the beginning of the word, on the other hand, emphasizes the meaning of Adolescent Health.
The application will provide the youth with knowledge on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health-related information through online quizzes on puberty, sexuality, Human Immuno Deficiency Virus- Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) and referral pathways.
The youth will engage others in the quiz and encourage them to also download the application through sharing their quiz results on social media.
Marshall said that the strategy was done to promote and improve the total well-being of young people, which is the over-all goal of the Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP).
“There is a need to innovate strategies in meeting with the evolving needs of young people to address their sexual and reproductive health needs to information and services,” Marshall said.
The mobile application was created in partnership with Save the Children, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines, and Iloilo State College and Fisheries.
The agencies were hopeful that the strategy will improve the health-seeking behavior among young people.
The application was launched on December 13, 2018 and can now be downloaded on smart phones, Marshall said.