Distance Learning

In 2005, USAID’s Bureau of Global Health had a challenge: With staff all over the world, how could the Bureau best provide access to consistent, up-to-date global health information? The answer was distance learning delivered through the Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL). GHeL offers a flexible learning program for busy professionals, with courses authored by recognized subject matter experts. GHeL’s initial audience was health sector staff at USAID missions,  but GHeL’s learner base has grown to more than 165,000 people from across the global public health sphere. 

In addition to managing this popular eLearning platform, K4Health has expanded our distance learning efforts to include blended learning approaches, online learning communities/study groups around specific health topics, content development for a community health worker mobile app, and interactive voice response follow-up support for online course participants. 

In Practice

CHN On the Go

Logo of the CHN on the Go mobile application. Credit: Produced by Grameen Foundation/Ghana under the Concern Worldwide US, Inc. (CUS) Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative, Care Community Hub (CCH) project

Background

Community health nurses (CHNs) are often the primary providers of maternal, newborn, and child health care (MNCH) in rural Ghanaian communities. Yet CHNs face significant challenges to address the health care needs of their communities, which are geographically diffuse and often under-resourced. While CHNs serve a crucial role, they are the least credentialed nurses within the Ghana Health Service, and have limited opportunities for career advancement. Their experience maps with global trends, which indicated that although there are more in-service training programs developed for health workers than ever before, a continuum of learning from pre-service to in-service training is needed.

Professional Development for Community Health Nurses in Ghana through Mobile Learning

K4Health collaborated with Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Grameen Foundation under the Concern Worldwide US, Inc. (CUS) Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative, Care Community Hub (CCH) project to provide CHNs in five rural districts of Ghana access to professional development courses on a variety of family planning (FP) and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) topics via an Android app. Our goal was twofold: 1) to provide accessible, high-quality, relevant educational opportunities to an indispensable group of primary care providers and 2) to understand how the provision of learning materials could improve workplace satisfaction and equip CHNs with new technical knowledge.

KMTC Kitui Students

Two students at KMTC Kitui discuss how they like interacting with the K4Health IVR Family Planning Course on their mobile phone. The course utilized mobile technology, specifically interactive voice response, to provide refresher training of family planning information learned through the Global Health e-Learning Center. Credit: Amanda BenDor

 

Background

The exponential growth in mobile technology offers a plethora of opportunities for providing continuing education and support to traditional in-person training and education programs. In partnership with Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) and the Family Planning (FP) Center of Excellence in Kitui, K4Health sought to explore ways to broaden the uptake of the global health technical content available on the Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL) and K4Health Topic Pages to increase knowledge transfer and retention via popular mobile technologies - Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and WhatsApp.

 

“Mobile learning is a wonderful way to learn; you learn at your own pace, anywhere, and any time.... Young people love technology; if you teach via it, you as the teacher and students will win!” - Mohamed Abdikaedir, student of Kenya Medical Training College-Kitui