B-wise! is an initiative of the National Department of Health (NDoH) of South Africa.
In 2014, the National Department of Health (NDoH) decided they needed a new way to connect with young people using digital technology. It was to be a mobile health initiative for adolescents and youth that could empower young people to make the right choices. Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute, PEPFAR South Africa implementing partner, recommended converting the Young Africa Live (YAL) social and lifestyle platform, which already had 2 million registered users, to become the NDOH-championed mobile health initiative. NDOH welcomed this idea and requested Wits RHI oversee the transformation process of YAL to the NDOH Adolescent and Youth mobisite.
The Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi felt young people should have a voice in creating this mobisite. As a result he launched a national mobisite naming competition in May 2015. From thousands of entries a focus group was held with adolescents and youth from all walks of life. The name B-Wise was chosen because it is catchy and inviting and they felt that as a young person “you have to take responsibility for your actions and B’Wise.” The top three mobisite naming competition winners were presented their prizes by the Honourable Minister of Health at the B-Wise launch in Soshanguve, Gauteng on 20 August, 2015.
B-Wise provides information that promotes healthy lifestyles to adolescents and youth between the ages of 10-14 15- 19 and 20-24 years old. The mobisite will provide youth age-appropriate access to information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV, AIDS & TB, nutrition, fitness and physical activity, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, gender based violence, chronic diseases (communicable and non-communicable diseases), physical and mental disability, violence, trauma and injuries and oral health. On B-Wise young people can get factual information, view real stories from other youth, participate in polls and find their closest clinic. B-Wise visitors can also chat live with a range of medical experts such as psychologists, nutritionists, doctors as well as the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, when visiting the site during the allocated Live Chat hour.