Ameyrah: Learning more about periods from a local period tracking app

4 March 2024

Ameyrah's community has had limited access to informational resources, especially about menstrual health. To share the correct information on menstruation with girls in her community, Ameyrah became part of the development of the Oky period tracker app, resulting in an adolescent-friendly, educational and accessible resource she and other girls in the community now use regularly to help manage and understand their periods.

Girls wearing hijabs are gathered in a huddle
Ameyrah (leftmost) discussing the Oky app during the initial consultation © Plan International

In one municipality in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao lives 19-year-old Ameyrah, a Senior High student and active student government officer. Her community is a simple one where people harmoniously live together with the different tribes and religions. Ameyrah herself is an Iranun by tribe and embraces the Islam faith.

Being a good distance from the city center, they had limited cellular reception and lacked access to the internet. Armed conflict was also rampant in the province, which made it riskier for girls to find spots where there was cellular data. As a result, their source of information was mostly from traditional beliefs, particularly when it comes to knowledge about menstrual health.

Knowing how to take care of oneself during menstruation and understanding the changes one’s body goes through during adolescent years was a significant challenge for Ameyrah. Thus, when the initiative to localise the Oky period tracker app came about, it created an opportunity to expand her knowledge about periods.

“It’s been a pleasure to me to be part of the consultation and app development. I feel that what I shared would be a good contribution to my fellow girls’ growth.”

Ameyrah, on her participation on the app development

Part of the process

Ameyrah became one of the students who joined the consultation process to develop the design and content of the Oky Philippines app. It was during these consultations that the traditional practices and beliefs about girls’ menstruation were brought up – some of which, she said, had become difficult to argue against because they were already deeply ingrained in their daily life. 

As the Oky app sought to equip adolescent girls with factual information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights with its comprehensive encyclopedia, the digital app had piqued the interest of Ameyrah. She saw the potential benefits that the app has to offer and was even more delighted to know that she herself was part of the process to develop the app.

“I felt great,” expressed Ameyrah. “It’s been a pleasure to me to be part of the consultation and app development. I feel that what I shared would be a good contribution to my fellow girls’ growth. It gave me an opportunity to share my ideas, experiences, and to suggest what looks the app could be like.”  

When the Oky Philippines app officially became live, its educational content also included the Islamic perspective, ensuring the alignment of the information with Islamic teachings and practices. With Oky, Ameyrah was able to sow the benefits of having a handy period tracker and menstrual health app. She noticed a change in her daily life as she now regularly consults Oky for information on how to maintain her health and hygiene.

“The app has become part of my routine as one of my reading materials. The encyclopedia is truly helpful because everything is stated there – lots of tips and advice that I can rely on. It gives me comfort and good vibes every time I read the content,” shared Ameyrah.

Almost a year since the start of the project, the Oky app has been downloaded by more than 97,000 users and among them, some 70,000 girls and young women from different regions in the Philippines have been using the app.

About the Oky app

The Oky Philippines app, supported by the Australian Government, is a joint product of the Department of Health, Department of Education, Commission on Population and Development, the National Youth Commission, and the Bangsamoro Government, together with UNICEF and in partnership with Plan International.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights, child marriage, Comprehensive sexuality education, Menstruation, Sexual and reproductive health services, Technology for development, Teenage pregnancy