SAFE ABORTION APP REVIEW
Medical Doctors For Choice (MDFC) concluded a two days consultative workshop on Safe Abortion App developed by Hesperian Health Guides. Hesperian Health Guides also developed a Family Planning app.
Safe Abortion app was developed in 2018 and released publicly in 2019, and Family Planning was developed and released in 2019.
Both apps have undergone iterative testing with different size community organizations (and even state entities) in over 20 countries in Africa and Latin America.
In the case of Sae Abortion, knowledge from the networks that have tested it, the app is used by abortion seekers and those who support them (family, friends) to community health workers, peer promoters, as a patient education tool, as a tool to support doctors and nurses in talking about abortion, and even in training. The app is private and discreet and does not collect data about users.
It was first released in English and Spanish and was translated into Kinyarwanda at the beginning of 2021. The purpose of this app is to provide clear, easy to understand and non-judgmental information about abortion since we all know that there is all too much incorrect information on abortion and too many lives lost to unsafe abortion methods.
Among its features are a pregnancy calculator, a comparison of methods, frequently asked questions, and others.
In seeking ways to raise awareness around this Safe Abortion app in Rwanda, and also get feedback about how people like it and how it could be useful, Hesperian and MDFC conducted a two days focus group discussion with interested medical doctors and medical students from the University of Rwanda (Through the Medical Students For Choice), to collect feedback on the safe abortion tool. In total, 20 medical doctors and 40 medical students attended the workshop.
After the discussion, as a result, constructive feedback was collected from participants on how the app could be useful for the type of work we do, as well as around strategies for disseminating the app more broadly in Rwanda.
Furthermore, we collected feedback on how people like the app and foresee its potential use given the particular legal and social context on the subject in Rwanda.