PERFORMANCE:  A mobile phone app has been launched as part of efforts to improve sexual health and reduce unplanned teenage pregnancies in Kent.

The Kent C Card iPhone app has been designed to give teenagers aged 19 and under information on how and where to get free condoms using their C Card – a community-based contraception scheme set up in 2007.

The app uses active maps to direct teenagers to the nearest outlet offering free condoms to anyone registered with the C Card scheme. It also offers advice on where to get contraception in an emergency, and information about getting treatment for sexually-transmitted infections.

Anyone who wants to register with the scheme must attend an appointment with a trained advisor. The condoms are given out by sexual health clinics, pharmacies, youth schemes and some school nurses. The card can be used 20 times before an appointment is needed re-register for a new card.

Kent Community Health NHS Trust head of sexual health Ruth Herron said: “The C Card scheme has been very successful, with more than 45,852 teenagers registering for the card since 2007. This app not only gives people information about the C Card, it can also point them immediately in the direction of the nearest outlet to get free condoms, or advice about their sexual health.”

The app has been developed by Tinderhouse, a Canterbury-based app development company located at the University of Kent Innovation Centre.

The app is currently only available for iPhone, but other platforms may follow.