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Health 2.0 Partners with UNFPA for Egypt’s Sexual Well-being from Ayman's blog

birth control pills

Health 2.0 | Cairo, Shamseya, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have come together for the Youth Health Challenge, a competition designed to mobilize young people as active solvers of the challenge we are all attempting to address: How can we radically improve access to, and quality of, sexual and reproductive health education and services for young people?

“It’s the first time that the UNFPA takes a new approach to sexual and reproductive health issues that face adolescents [in Egypt],” said Omar Shaker, Founder and Chapter Leader of Health 2.0 | Cairo. “And instead of the traditional awareness campaigns they partnered with us to inspire the answers to come from the youth for the youth,” he said.

Between topics like family planning, premarital counseling, forced early marriages, female genital mutilation, and access to knowledge about sexual and reproductive health in general, six teams present their pitches on Monday for the final round of the competition.

“I am incredibly excited, and I am extremely proud about the progress, with ideas building from scratch four months ago, and developing and trying to tackle very controversial issues in highly stigmatized areas in Egypt, then turning into working prototypes and viable business models,” Shaker said. The teams come from Upper Egypt’s Assiut and Benisuef governorates.

Cairo’s lovers often sit in public spaces such as cafes, the corniche of the Nile river or in Azhar park.

Egypt, where 62 percent of the population is below the age of 29, is reaching the peak of the “youth bulge”, the largest cohort of young people in its history. Young people face multiple specific challenges in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

“Preparing them for the transition to adulthood, a time when sexuality and relationships are central, is not only a human right but it is also vital to ensuring good health and is key to reducing youth’s vulnerability and to maximizing human capital investment,” reads a statement about the competition, continuing, “Thus, promoting comprehensive, youth-friendly health services is essential in assisting youth to make responsible SRH decisions and in empowering them to enforce these decisions. The Youth Health Challenge is an opportunity to bring forward young perspectives. This young perspective will illicit change through solutions that are youth-led and more capable to address the needs and expectations of their peers”.

Shaker also mentioned that he is excited about the audience that is going to be there, from incubators to accelerators, to industry leaders from the development world, to come in and help the teams take their health pitches to the next level. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of expert judges based on which they get awarded prizes, recognition, support, and partnership opportunities with the sponsoring organization.

Health 2.0 | Cairo is the first chapter of its kind. Founded in 2014, this organization is a healthcare tech hub for professionals in the health, startup and programming industry; some of Egypt’s best and brightest medical and tech innovators and problem solvers. Health 2.0 | Cairo is the local chapter of Health 2.0 Conference based in San Francisco.

Featured image credit goes to ecowarriorprincess.net


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