African Diseases Prevention and Research Development Initiative (ADRAP), a Nigeria-based non-governmental public health institution has commenced next round of training, aimed at building the capacity of no fewer than 4,000 health workers in Africa on tuberculosis (TB) prevention, control and management through electronic learning (e-learning).
Through the current online training, which is happening simultaneously but independent of each other in Nigeria and Liberia, ADRAP is supporting the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme of Nigeria with funding from Global Fund to advance progress in its TB control activities.
It is also supporting the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme of Liberia with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the World Health Organisation, to achieve similar feat in Liberia.
Only recently, experts in the health space, particularly those involved in TB intervention activities from Liberia, led by the country’s Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Francis Kateh, were in Nigeria to learn, first-hand, from ADRAP how they could leap-frog some of the obvious and inherent challenges they face in everyday work schedules using virtual technology.
Chief Executive Officer of ADRAP, Dr. Joseph Enegela, who gave insight on the e-learning model, said the visit by the Liberian team highlights the importance of trans-border collaborations to deepen TB control efforts, through promotion of education growth and partnership within the continent.
Enegela said e-learning is the future of health workforce development in Africa, as it facilitates access to quality knowledge, just as its flexibility, cost-effectiveness and interactive nature offer opportunities for peer to peer learning and ability to standardise education.
“The future of e-learning for health workforce development in Africa holds tremendous potential to bridge the healthcare education gap, address workforce shortages and improve health outcomes,” Enegela said.
Similarly, Deputy Minister of Health for Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh, highlighted the need for e-learning as a tool to bypass natural barriers, like weather conditions. Citing the case of Liberia, he said: “During the rainy season, many parts of the country are completely cut-off, making healthcare delivery difficult. Therefore, for such time, there is need to develop the capacity of health workers.”