The Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) and Ekwendeni College of Health Sciences (ECOHS), in collaboration with Amref Health Africa in Malawi, announce the launch of a two-year e-Learning training course for nurse-midwife technicians leading to 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 health facilities as they are upgrading, which will allow for continuity of health service delivery to communities.
Meriam Kalyolyo, Manager for the e-Learning Project at Amref Health Africa said of the programme will starts on June 4, 2018.
“eLearning is a self-paced study method that uses computers and other devices to access content anywhere and anytime. It has been proven to be efficient, effective, and cost-effective approach to training health workers in Africa and across the globe.
“By design, this 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.” she said.
The programme, according to Kalyolyo, 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 these cadres, inadequate resources for training and withdrawal of health care workers as they upgrade their profession.
She said under the programme, eLearning resource centres have been set up in eight health facilities, which will be supported by the MCHS and ECOHS.
“In each of these centres we have identified clinical mentors and trained them on eLearning methodology and how to best support the eLearning learners. The two pilot schools have also developed a master rotation plan delineating hours set aside for theory and hours set aside for clinical practice.
“Depending on the competencies and skills to be achieved, the learner will have to leave their duty station from time to time to meet the clinical requirements as stipulated; in any of the designated health facilities with trained eLearning mentors in collaboration with their supervisors and college tutors,” said Kalyolyo.
MCHS runs a similar programme as a full time course by conventional face-to-face learning method.
The course will be delivered from MCHS (Blantyre Campus) and ECOHS as pilot colleges plan to enrol about 40 students each. Applications for admission close on April 6.
The eight eLearning resource centres for the programme will be at Karonga, Rumphi, Chiradzulu and Mulanje district hospitals, Mzuzu, Queen Elizabeth, Kamuzu central hospitals and MCHS (Zomba campus), It is expected that the programme would be rolled out to other colleges once it has been evaluated for efficiency and effectiveness.
Amref Health Africa is an international African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, whose vision is to bring about lasting change in Africa in general and Malawi in particular.