UNICEF’s innovative free digital platform, U-Report Nigeria, has been rated a trusted platform for sharing lifesaving information about COVID-19 and mobilizing young people to fight vaccine hesitancy, according to UNICEF.
The platform has registered four million Nigerian responders, known as U-Reporters, according to a statement signed by Blessing Ejiofor, Communication Officer, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria.
According to the report, U-Report Nigeria came out on top, followed by Côte d’Ivoire and India.
Through short message service (SMS) polls, the U-Report platform allows young people to express their opinions on healthcare, education, youth unemployment, disease outbreaks, and other relevant issues affecting young people’s lives.
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The results of these polls are frequently shared with their communities, government, and decision makers for action, according to the statement.
“Since April 2014, when the first U-Report poll was sent out in Nigeria, millions of young people have provided valuable information by reporting issues arising in their communities to help find solutions and improve the lives of their families and friends,” the statement reads in part.
“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenges, the U-Report Nigeria was rated a trusted platform for sharing lifesaving information about the disease, preventing the virus’s spread, and mobilizing young people to combat vaccine hesitancy.”
“At the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the #Covid19innovation online challenge, powered by U-Report Nigeria, called for innovative solutions on how to manage the pandemic and/or mitigate the virus’s spread, and over 80,000 young people participated.”
“With the pandemic’s fourth wave still wreaking havoc on our daily lives, U-Report Nigeria is currently leading the #sleevesup challenge to reduce vaccine apprehension among Nigerian youth through peer-to-peer groups.”
“The challenge is to engage tertiary students with the goal of having at least 200 COVID-19 vaccine champions in every institution of learning in the country,” the statement continued.
“The success of the U-Report Nigeria aptly represents the active participation of young people in decision-making and solution-finding,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Nigeria’s OIC Representative.
“We are honored to have reached four million respondents, the highest number of young people reached through this platform anywhere in the world.” I thank Nigeria’s boys and girls, as well as the country’s vibrant young adults, for speaking up and sharing their perspectives on issues affecting women and children.
“They are the champions and change agents for bettering basic services and people’s well-being in our communities.”