With the increasing pace of artificial intelligence (AI) and a global pandemic that pushed digital solutions, Ipas is harnessing cutting-edge advancements in digital technology to share accurate information about and expand access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion.
From mobile phone apps that put information and community resources in the palm of your hand to educational videos and podcasts streamed through popular media-sharing websites, we’re using and creating digital tools to reach more people with the support and information they need.
We’ve launched a variety of mobile applications (apps) to both educate and assist people with sexual and reproductive health needs using dynamic content, AI chat functions and integration with community resources. Examples include:
Ipas Health Link connects users with accurate information
In partnership with youth-tech company Lync Systems, Ipas Malawi engaged local health providers, community health workers and youth groups in the launch of Ipas Health Link, a free app available for Android devices. Providing private and accurate information on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights, the app also enables users to connect to further assistance through phone or using an AI chatbot via WhatsApp.
Chataboo video game makes learning fun
From Ipas Bolivia comes Chataboo, an educational video game of questions and answers for mobile phones that aims to prevent sexual violence and teenage pregnancy. This free Android app uses a multi-level gaming method to teach youth important facts about sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence.
Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya
Nurse Nisa chatbot answers abortion questions and more
Nurse Nisa is a chatbot—an AI program designed to simulate a text chat between a trained health provider and person seeking information about contraception and self-management of abortion with pills. Launched in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2021, the chatbot is free to use and available on WhatsApp, with language options English, French and Swahili.
Disha Didi reaches rural young women
Designed to fit the needs of young women of rural communities in India, Disha Didi is Ipas Development Foundation’s AI-powered chatbot to respond to individual queries on sexual and reproductive health and COVID-19 with quick, credible information—and it links users to government health facilities and human counsellors.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Sofia offers confidential and stigma-free information that is accurate and easy to understand
Developed by Ipas Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, the “Sofia” virtual assistant embodies the persona of a young medical expert with a youth-friendly personality that uses clear and concise language anyone can understand.
Specialized tools for health-care providers
Health professionals who provide reproductive health care—including abortion—need access to the latest evidence and clinical guidance as well as information on local laws and regulations. Part of Ipas’s comprehensive approach to training and supporting health providers and health systems is to develop useful digital resources that ensure providers have the information they need at their fingertips.
The Comprehensive Care Model for Victims of Sexual Violence (MAIVVS) app supports health providers with technical, conceptual, and practical tools on how to comprehensively care for victims of sexual violence.
Aborto Seguro Mx is a free clinical and technical support app for health professionals that includes information on abortion laws and regulations, recommended abortion technologies, postabortion contraception and abortion stigma.
Created by the Safe Abortion Access Network (REDAAS) of Argentina in partnership with Ipas Latin America and the Caribbean, Asistente ERA is a free online tool that answers questions about the right to abortion with reliable clinical and legal information that is constantly updated.
Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, allowing busy listeners to multitask while enjoying content of interest. Ipas is using this medium—which allows for wide-ranging and culturally relevant conversations on sensitive topics—to share content on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equity and more. Examples include:
In the Sapiens podcast, focused on combatting machismo and its negative impacts, Ipas Bolivia has created a dialogue about alternative masculinities, violence, responsible parenthood, sexual and reproductive rights and health, and more. Available on Spotify.
Streaming video platforms like YouTube enable instant visual learning access, including for low-literacy audiences. We collaborate with partners and media artists to create streaming videos that provide crucial information on topics relevant to sexual and reproductive health, including abortion. Examples include:
Ipas developed a short video called Mina’s Story to provide reliable, evidence-based information on how to have an abortion with pills. The fictional story of a woman named Mina—who has an abortion with pills without visiting a health center—shows how people are able to self-manage the process using simple instructions found on reliable websites like www.ipas.org/AbortionWithPills.
Safe abortion with misoprostol
Ipas Central America and Mexico created informational videos in Spanish on how women can safely self-manage an abortion using misoprostol, a safe and effective drug readily available in most pharmacies in Mexico without a prescription. The videos now have more than five million views and thousands of comments—showing the huge need for this type of information online.
Every day, people turn to the internet for health information—but evidence-based, accurate information can be hard to find. Ipas knows this, and so we develop websites centered on users’ needs to share reliable information on reproductive health and rights—including abortion and contraception. Examples include:
In Kenya, youth-focused website compiles crucial health information
Awarded “Best Youth-Run Sexual Health Platform” by Global Health and Pharma in 2022, the website Nimechanuka has provided young people with accurate information on contraceptives and access to safe abortion for a decade. This comprehensive website also shares online advocacy campaigns, virtual chats and webinars, and Ipas-supported trainings to improve the knowledge and skills of youth champions for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Learn how to safely self-manage an abortion using pills
Abortion with pills is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. And many people choose to manage the process on their own, without the involvement of a health provider. All they need is clear and accurate information about how to safely self-manage the process. That’s why Ipas created www.ipas.org/AbortionWithPills. The webpage provides an informative video, a full printable guide, and online swipeable content that walks users through each step—all available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Learn from our experience:
With internet access increasing rapidly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we knew that a chatbot would be a cost-effective and efficient way to reach the most people in the DRC. Now, after three years and over 18,000 users reached in the DRC with WhatsApp-based Nurse Nisa, we’ve published a comprehensive overview of our successes and challenges in creating this chatbot and bringing it to scale.