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Using Mobile Instant Messaging to support the Substance Abuse problem amongst youth in South Africa

Parker, Marlon, Wills, Gary and Wills, Julia (2010) Using Mobile Instant Messaging to support the Substance Abuse problem amongst youth in South Africa At International Development InformaticsConference. 03 - 05 Nov 2010.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


In this paper we explore the use of a particular MIM service, MXit, to offer advice and support to young people struggling with problems associated with substance abuse. The research focuses on a case study carried out in the Cape Flats. The case study was based on a substance abuse counselling project known as Drug Advice Support (DAS). Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with DAS advisers, and analysis of the latest statistics of the DAS on MXit project. The interviews were conducted at the Impact Direct Centre,,using the JamiiX platform over the period 13-27 April 2009. For the advisers the system was found to be easy to use. The advisers had little formal education, yet they were able to learn the technology quickly and hold many asynchronous conversations in a single advice session, thereby also being empowered. The service was successful, which can be attributed to three main factors: the extensive use of MIM by young people in the region, the low cost of the service, and the anonymity of the subscriber. Other factors include the widespread use of the technology, especially among the youth, and the relative low cost of using the MXit platform.

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Published date: 10 September 2010
Additional Information: Event Dates: 3-5 Nov 2010
Venue - Dates: International Development InformaticsConference, 2010-11-03 - 2010-11-05
Organisations: Electronic & Software Systems


Local EPrints ID: 271353
PURE UUID: 8f9ab4bf-dfde-476d-9dd3-bc62e34f9e57
ORCID for Gary Wills: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 07 Jul 2010 10:25
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:43

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Author: Marlon Parker
Author: Gary Wills ORCID iD
Author: Julia Wills

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