Leading women’s health app Flo, will give free access to its subscription membership, Flo Premium, to 400mn women across the globe to boost menstrual and reproductive health literacy.
The initiative will be available in 58 for over the next three years, granting users access to resources, including product and content features. The countries were selected based on health literacy and health satisfaction rates data from the World Health Organization (WHO), GDP per capita rankings from the World Bank and other metrics.
Flo Premium has already been rolled out in 21 countries, including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Haiti and Gabon, granting access worth over half a million dollars, and continuing to reach 37 more countries over the next year.
“At Flo, we’re building a better future for female health by helping women harness the power of their body signals,” said Cath Everett, VP of Product and Content. “This is without a doubt one of the most important initiatives Flo has ever undertaken. When it comes to health, knowledge is power.
“We already know that Flo Premium improves attitudes towards health literacy among its users, so we believe that granting free access to Flo Premium can drive real-world impact on health literacy rates at scale. By offering Flo Premium to those who need it most, we hope to empower women and people who menstruate across the globe to better understand their bodies, advocate for their unique health needs and subsequently become the change makers in their respective countries.”
What is health literacy?
WHO defines health literacy as an individual’s ability to adequately comprehend health information and to implement this knowledge into their everyday life in order to “maintain or improve quality of life.”
Low health literacy is a direct contributor to the spread of misinformation and leads to poor health outcomes and unhealthy behaviors, especially in the areas of menstruation, sexual, and pregnancy health.
Likewise, the research found that many girls were unaware of their menstruation before their first periods, including Bangladesh (32%), Egypt (66%) and Malawi (18%). These girls were also found to feel shocked or afraid when receiving their first period, with 74% of girls in Egypt reporting these feelings and 69% of girls in Bangladesh.
By providing free access to Flo Premium, Flo will give these girls access to medically credible information, which is imperative for women to gain a better understanding of their bodies, while destigmatizes taboo topics related to their health (e.g periods, menopause, STIs, etc.).
Earlier in the year, Flo made its Premium subscription free for Ukrainian residents to provide trusted health information and support during a time of overwhelming stress – over 1.2M Ukrainian users have activated their subscriptions.
“Rachel McConnell, Director of User Experience, commented: “We saw an overwhelming response when we rolled out free Flo Premium in Ukraine. Our community really welcomed this initiative, highlighting the importance of enabling access to trusted medical information in regions where it is acutely needed. That’s exactly what we aim to achieve with our new prosocial initiative, making medically credible information easily available to those who need it the most.”