We’ve reported on the benefits of health related video games for everything from stroke rehabilitation, PTSD treatment, to surgical training and the education of pediatric patients about immunology and asthma. Yesterday UNICEF released a game to help Swahili youths educate themselves about HIV prevention and testing.
Seeking to reach East African adolescents and young people in the battle against AIDS, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched its first interactive feature in Swahili, an online game that empowers the young to make good life choices and prevent HIV.
The game, called ‘Ungefanyaje’ or ‘What would you do?’ in Swahili, takes the player through a series of relationship-based scenarios that emphasize the importance of HIV prevention and testing.
“Although prevention is essential to half the spread of HIV/AIDS, an alarming 80 per cent of all young people still don’t know how to protect themselves from the virus,” UNICEF said in a news release, noting that sub-Saharan Africa has been especially hard-hit by the epidemic.
“By speaking openly about the threat that HIV and AIDS poses to young people, we can help give them the knowledge they need to keep them safe from infection,” said Amber Oliver, Coordinator of Voices of Youth, an Internet site created by UNICEF for the young who want to know more, do more and say more about the world.
“It is estimated that of the 2.3 million children under 15 living with HIV, 2 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. Reaching young people with prevention education and services is a crucial step towards an AIDS-free generation.”