KATHMANDU: Health Minister Girirajmani Pokharel today launched an Android-based mobile application meant for adolescent girls and boys in Nepal.

The mobile app, Khulduli, aims at promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents in Nepal by empowering them with the right information about their health and helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle. This app is developed as part of the broader “Healthy Nepal, Prosperous Nepal” campaign by the National Health Education, Information and Communication Center under the Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), German Development Cooperation,  and USAID. The app is based on UNFPA’s global innovative mobile solution, known as Youth.Connect.

Minister Pokharel launched the app during an event organized in Kathmandu by NHEICC and attended by adolescents, top government officials, and representatives of youth organizations, development partners and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Pokharel said that with the app, adolescents, who prefer to have access to sexual and reproductive health information in an easy, credible, confidential and nonthreatening manner, can make informed and responsible decisions about their health and well-being. The app contains information about key health issues of the adolescents and young people in Nepal.

Adolescents and young people represents a third of the total population in Nepal. This population is often considered as the healthiest population group; however, if not supported well, they become one of the most vulnerable population sections. Early marriage, early and unintended pregnancy, STI including HIV, substance abuse (cigarette, alcohol and drugs), and malnutrition are the commonest problem they face. This population section also marks the increased exposure to risk factors of the non-communicable diseases. However, the access to appropriate information is not adequate among this group. According to an estimate, less than one third of the adolescents in Nepal have access to the sexual and reproductive health information that meets their need.

The app is available in Nepali language and can be downloaded via the Android’s Play Store, said Advocacy and Communication Officer of UNFPA Santosh Chhetri, adding that the app can also be used by adolescents without any internet connection once they download it.