M-learning app to strengthen health workforce training launched in Kenya
A new mobile App to facilitate and advance digital training of health workers in Africa has been launched by Amref Health Africa’s Institute of Capacity Development (ICD) in collaboration with the Elsevier and Dioraphte Foundations.
The Jibu mobile learning solution allows for self-paced, self-administered learning and is aimed at improving the skills and knowledge of health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. The App, which targets both pre-service and in-service health workers – including nurses, midwives, clinical officers and nutritionists – allows learners to enroll and access learning materials.
Jibu’s journey begun in 2013 with a pilot phase that sought to test the ability to use mobile learning (mLearning)to increase access to health worker training in Kenya. Working in partnership with Ministries of health, regulatory bodies, training institutions and the health workers themselves, the idea saw wide acceptance amongst health workers in East Africa, leading to the launch of the Application.
“The Jibu solution will allow frontline health workers to be better equipped with skills to deliver quality health care services. It will address the need to train health workers to effectively address critical shortages of human resources for health (HRH) and ultimately accelerate progress to make Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a reality in Africa,’’ said Diana Mukami, Digital Learning Director, Institute of Capacity Development at Amref Health Africa.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, mostly in low- and lower-middle income countries. In addition, 18 million Health Workers are needed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in developing countries.
“Resolving the shortage of health workers requires a multi-pronged approach, including concerted efforts through public-private partnerships. Digital learning solutions, such as Jibu, increase access to tailored courses for health workers, in comparison with traditional approaches such as face-to-face. The Jibu App allows health workers to receive quality training with minimal disruptions to their work,” adds Ms Mukami.
Speaking during the launch, the Elsevier Foundation’s Program Officer Domiziana Francescon, speaking on behalf of Director Ylann Schemm said: “We are excited to see Jibu been launched today. There is something really powerful in witnessing how digital innovations can help advance the development of health solutions, especially in those low-resource settings that are often at the forefront of the most pressing humanitarian crises. We are proud to partner with Amref, and to work together for the advancement of the UN SDGs.”
Further advancement has since been made to the Jibu mLearning solution to increase functionality and enable offline and online access to health information and continuous professional development opportunities for health workers in the region. The solution has been linked to Amref’s digital learning platform, the eCampus to increase access to health training and improve overall user experience.
Through this App, health workers will enrich their knowledge and skills on different areas including Non-Communicable Diseases (such Asthma and Diabetes), Family Planning, Neonatal Health Care, Reproductive Health Courses, Leadership Management and Governance, Management of Diarrhoea and Pneumonia in Children under five years among others.
The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate not-for-profit 501(c) (3), funded by Elsevier, a global information analytics business specialized in science and health. Since 2006, the Elsevier Foundation provides over $1 million USD a year in grants to knowledge-centered institutions around the world, which address the UN Sustainable Development Goals through tech-enabled innovations in health information, diversity in science and health, research in developing countries. The Elsevier Foundation also offers a comprehensive matching gift and volunteering fund to enable employees to work with Foundation partners and support their communities.