When it comes to health and wellbeing, every young person deserves the most accurate information. But in a world with differing levels of access to resources, a problem compounded by misinformation, learning about how to care for and protect one’s body can be difficult at best.
In an effort to equip girls, young women, and gender-expansive people with factual information about their bodies, the American Academy of Pediatrics launched Body of Knowledge, a collaboration with YouTube and girls’ rights activists from the Young Women’s Freedom Center and Vital Voices Global Partnership.
Body of Knowledge is a video series that aims to answer teens’ top health questions as it pertains to five pillars: Safety, Menstruation, Mental Health and Self-care, Consent and Sexual Wellbeing. The series unites and amplifies the voices of adolescent health specialists from the AAP who offer straightforward, medically accurate information, with the lived experiences of girls’ rights defenders, with the ultimate goal of empowering teens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and wellbeing.
The videos touch on a breadth of frequently asked questions, and provide an avenue for open and honest conversations about teens’ health. Designed with the help of digital creator Hailey Sani, who has created her own series of girls’ health videos on YouTube, and with the expertise of pediatricians from the AAP who work day in and out with adolescents, Body of Knowledge offers empowerment through knowledge without shame, taboo or stigma.
The AAP also collaborated with YouTube to launch a video series on childhood and adolescent vaccinations to help parents feel empowered with the information they need to make decisions about their child’s immunizations. The series features videos that answer the top questions parents commonly ask, such as about the safety of vaccines, vaccine ingredients, side effects, and the diseases they help prevent. The series also addresses how disinformation and misinformation about vaccines often spreads online, and how parents can find accurate information.
Video is a particularly effective format for sharing health information in ways that are accessible and digestible to everyone. Regardless of your literacy level, location, or language, video is easy to understand and engaging – even on a mobile phone.
As health leaders look to make public health information truly public, mobile video formats are a critical tool for reaching global audiences at scale and providing free and equitable access to the information that is both credibly sourced and culturally relevant.