Amref Health Africa has partnered with the Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) and Ekwendeni College of Health Sciences (Ecohs), to provide eLearning training courses for nurse-midwife technicians.
The two pilot colleges plan to enrol about 40 students each on the two-year course starting June this year who will graduate with a diploma in nursing and midwifery.
The targeted nurse-midwife technicians, who will become registered nurse-midwives after completion of studies, are expected to continue working at their respective health facilities as they are upgrading to avoid distracting health service delivery to communities.
In a press statement issued at the weekend, Meriam Kalyolyo, Amref Health Africa e-learning project manager said the programme has come about in response to the critical shortages of health workers, particularly the nursing and midwifery cadre, due to, among other reasons, limited number of existing training slots for the cadres, inadequate resources for training and withdrawal of health care workers as they upgrade their profession.
She further said by design, the e-learning approach expedites scaling up of a number of learners enrolled in the programme as they are not limited by facilities, infrastructure or instructors in comparison to traditional classroom based learning.
“E-learning is a self-paced study method that uses computers and other devices to access content anywhere and anytime. It has been proven to be effcient, effective, and cost-effective approach to training health workers in Africa and across the globe,” said Kalyolyo.
According to Kalyolyo, under the programme, e-learning resource centres have been set up in eight health facilities, which will be supported by MCHS and ECOHS.
In an earlier interview, Amref health systems advocacy manager Benedict Chinsakaso bemoaned Malawi’s continued loss of trained medical personnel to other countries.
He called on the need for government to report on the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Code of Ethical Practice on International Recruitment of Health Workers which aims at controlling labour migration within the health sector in less developed countries which he said will help retain staff in the health sector.
Currently, Malawi’s nurse to patient ratio stands at 34 to 100 000 (1: 3 000).
This article was first published HERE , by THE NATION on 20 March 2018.