Training Health Workers
Without trained health workers, how can people get the care they need?
African countries would need to increase their health workforce by 140% to provide health services that would make a positive difference in the overall health and life expectancy of their populations.
Today, there are on average only 2 doctors and 9 nurses available for every 10,000 people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This means that there are too few health workers, but it is not enough to train new health workers; existing health workers need to upgrade their skills as well to ensure that quality, life-saving health care is more accessible to everyone on the continent.
Amref Health Africa has made training new and existing health workers at all levels – from community volunteers to midwives, nurses and doctors – the cornerstone of our work. We particularly focus on community health workers (CHWs) because they are often the only link to health care for millions of people in rural areas and can provide simple, but life-saving interventions.
In South Sudan we’re training health workers at laboratories
By leveraging innovative technologies such as e-Learning and m-Learning, we can train local African health workers rapidly, cost-effectively, and competently. e-Learning brings classroom learning to health workers via the internet, while m-Learning is the innovative use of mobile phones and mobile phone applications to deliver training programs to health workers. This allows health workers to upgrade their skills without taking them away from their patients and families.
One of our biggest innovations is Leap, a mobile phone platform created to train CHWs, whether they live in a poor urban neighborhood, or in a distant rural community. Leap can run on very basic mobile phone technology, so health workers can learn at their own pace, wherever they are, using their own mobile phones. Leap delivers training through a combination of audio text messages and is built around an approved curriculum. Leap also serves CHWs as a collaboration tool, allowing CHWs within the same region to chat and message one another while assessing patients or studying. CHWs can also use Leap as a monitoring tool where they can store their patients’ health information.
In 2019 alone, we trained 41,000 health workers on the continent. 58% of those health workers were women.
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