IntraHealth commits to designing a scalable e/mLearning Program in Kenya, building on initial success in its partnership with the Kenyan Medical Training College network. The e/mLearning Program will be expanded into new content areas and platforms and rely on state-of-the-art learning theory and practice. The e/mLearning Program will be integrated with Kenya's national continuing professional development system, ensuring that health workers who participate receive credit toward re-licensure. IntraHealth will roll out the program into additional training institutions and health facilities reaching greater number of frontline health workers. Other local partners on the initiative include the following: the Kenyan government to ensure coordination with national e-Health initiatives and providers; AMREF who has already developed several existing eLearning platforms; technology firms who will contribute to further extension, integration and deployment (i.e., iHub, Intel, Medic Mobile, Avallian Africa and Safaricom); Equity Bank to design a scheme to enable health workers to affordably acquire mobile devices; and a solar energy firm to ensure reliable power sources for remote health workers. To ensure sustainability, IntraHealth will encourage the use of open source technologies that enhance replicability and interoperability with other eLearning initiatives. The commitment will result in a scalable eLearning model that will be applied in two training institutions and 80 more frontline health workers with upgraded skills in primary care. Once designed this e/mLearning Program will be available throughout Kenya reaching exponentially more health workers with training at a fraction of the cost.
IntraHealth will launch the commitment by convening a group of key stakeholders including government officials, training institutions, and local representatives of the private sector partners who will guide and engage in the partnership. This group will review the current status of e/mLearning in Kenya, agree on program deliverables and impact, and define partner roles and responsibilities. IntraHealth and partners will develop at least six additional modules in priority content areas and will explore various tools and methodologies to expand the e/mLearning Program, with special focus on increasing access for health workers in remote locations. This will include determining interoperability with existing platforms and application of available tools such as Intel's multi-media content delivery and assessment solution Skoool that can link remote facilities with training institutions. Technology firms iHub, Avallain Africa and Medic Mobile will assist in customizing solutions. Once modules are complete, frontline health workers will enroll in the e/mLearning program in at least two training institutions (in Western and Eastern Provinces). IntraHealth will work with health facilities and health workers to solve connectivity, economic and energy related challenges. The e/mLearning Program will integrate with Kenya's national training systems to seek formal accreditation of the learning modules ensuring their availability to a wider audience. IntraHealth and partners will carefully track progress of implementation and achievement of commitment targets and document and share lessons learned.
During the last decade, Kenya has achieved improvements in the overall health of its population, including declines in infant mortality and fertility(Kenya, DHS Reports). However, the health and economic status of the Kenyan population remains vulnerable and wide health disparities exist geographically and among certain groups. Continued health improvements cannot occur without well-trained, managed, and motivated frontline health workers. Despite government leadership and significant investment by development partners, the Kenyan health training system is unable to ensure that health workers, especially in remote, underserved areas, are routinely updated with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle health needs.
Interest in use of technology solutions to improve health care services and training in low resource settings has grown exponentially over the last five years. Kenya has been a regional leader in testing e/mHealth technologies across diverse program areas. IntraHealth is working with Kenyan health institutions to enhance access to quality training opportunities for frontline health workers using technology-assisted approaches including web-based platforms. It is widely recognized that expanding eLearning to mobile environments increases access for remote health workers and incentivizes them to seek convenient e/mLearning courses that do not disrupt family life or service delivery.
Integration of locally relevant and sustainable technological solutions holds great promise for expanding access and affordability of health services throughout Kenya. IntraHealth commits to further extend and expand its initial investments in technology-assisted training programs by partnering with the Kenyan private sector to design and roll-out a scalable promising e/mLearning Program.
IntraHealth offers partnership opportunities for organizations currently engaged in the health worker training environment in Kenya. This includes local Kenyan institutions that might be interested in expanding their training programs as well as international entities that have expertise in e/mLearning in global health who would be interested in applying their global lessons in the Kenyan context.
IntraHealth has secured approximately 70% of funding for this initiative and is seeking financial partners who would be interested in expanding their strategic engagement with the Kenyan health training environment. Such partnerships may be Kenyan local corporate entities interested in expanding access to training for existing and newly deployed health workers as well as corporate partners and technical assistance agencies who value the ongoing training, deployment and support of Kenyan frontline health workers. IntraHealth requires an estimated $125,000 of additional resources to fully implement this commitment for additional ICT tools (tablets, phones), technical assistance and engagement with some of the local partners. Additional opportunities to deploy the e/mLearning Program would be of interest and require full funding.