Government agencies and development organizations called for better measures to provide young Filipinos with accurate and trustworthy information about menstrual health during the nationwide launch of the Oky Philippines Period Tracker App, an application made for and by Filipino girls.
The app was launched in time for the global Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed every May 28, through the partnership of the Department of Education, Department of Health, Commission on Population and Development, and National Youth Commission with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund, Australian Government, and Plan International.
The event, “Oky for you, oky for me: Say hello to the period tracker app for Filipino girls, by Filipino girls,” tackled issues about menstrual health and hygiene management and featured demonstrations of the easy-to-use app.
According to DepEd, eight out of 10 schools provided access to sanitary pads to girls during the school year 2020-2021 – a marked increase from 2017-2018, when only 60 percent of schools provided menstrual hygiene products.
While the improved access to menstrual hygiene products in schools is remarkable, menstruation and sexual reproductive health rights remain sensitive topics for discussion.
The Oky Philippines app was developed based on Oky, the world’s first menstruation education and period tracker app co-created by Unicef with girls for girls.
In localizing the app, the team consulted with girls living in different contexts in the Philippines, including indigenous peoples, out-of-school children, and children with disabilities. The results from the talks underwent vetting by adolescent health experts from government agencies and development organizations.
Oky Philippines also includes content relevant to the Islamic culture, co-created with adolescents in the Bangsamoro Region.
Oky Philippines is free to download from Google Play Store. The app will be available in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. – Press release