London: British teenagers are now being offered a smartphone application that gives them directions to the nearest health clinic where they can pick up free condoms and seek treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Since its launch in Kent county earlier this month, at least 85 teenagers have downloaded the free application, a newspaper reported.
Though there are no restrictions on who can download it, but to get free condoms, users have to be aged between 13 and 19 and registered with a national sexual health programme called the "C Card Scheme".
Young people registering with the scheme must first have an appointment with a sexual health professional.
Once issued with a card, they can use it to access free contraception 20 times before being required to have a follow-up appointment.
The idea comes from the National Health Service Kent and Medway primary care trust.
The application -- available at Apple`s App Store -- was created by design company Tinderhouse, linked to the University of Kent Innovation Centre.
Tory MP Nadine Dorries, a former nurse and a campaigner for teenage sexual abstinence, has, however, criticised the move, and called it a "joke" and a "gimmick".
Ruth Herron, head of sexual health at Kent Community Health NHS Trust, said the scheme has been very successful, with nearly 46,000 teenagers registering since 2007 and more than 5,000 hits to the website every month.