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Dhaka Tribune

UNFPA, IsDB partner to launch digital platform for health services

‘Alapon Online’ will help young people on reproductive health and other critical issues

Update : 28 Mar 2022, 04:29 PM

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has partnered with Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to launch a digital platform dedicated to providing health information to young people. 

The new web-based digital platform called Alapon Online is being funded by the Islamic Development Bank’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Fund leveraged through an innovation call dedicated to enhancing the Covid-19 response of developing countries.

The partnership was officially launched on March 24, during a virtual ceremony, which was attended by the Manager of Islamic Development Bank’s Regional Hub in Dhaka, Muhammad Nassis Sulaiman, and the acting Country Representative of UNFPA in Bangladesh, Dr Eiko Narita, said a media statement.

The initiative builds on the successes of the UNFPA-supported Alapon helpline run by Concerned Women for Family Development, which has provided professional counseling to young people in Bangladesh throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to a UNFPA statement, extended school closures and restricted availability of and access to adolescent-friendly health services, adolescents’ and young people’s access to information on reproductive health and other critical issues has been severely compromised in Bangladesh during the pandemic. 

The UNFPA partnered with Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to launch a digital platform dedicated to providing health information to young people Courtesy

Through the new platform, young people will be able to call and message the counselors free of charge and receive contextualized information on reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, and other issues relevant to adolescents and youth.

“This is a very timely initiative which will benefit adolescents and young people to access information, raise their awareness, and get necessary services free of charge on reproductive health,” said Muhammad Nassis Sulaiman. 

Saying that the IsDB is pleased to partner with UNFPA in the initiative, he advised particularly to capture the key lessons of the innovative project in order to utilize those in future interventions.

“In the context of the digital transformation and Covid-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever that we bring health services and information as close to young people as possible,” UNFPA Representative Dr Eiko Narita remarked. 

She hoped that the innovative project will ensure life-saving information and support for young people across Bangladesh as long as they have access to mobile and internet.

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