AMREF's New Partnership with Open University

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AMREF is pleased to announce a new and exciting partnership with the Open University (UK).

Africa has a serious shortage of health workers and many have little or no formal training; yet, they are the ‘front line’ of health care across Africa.

Recognising a mutual belief that empowered, well-trained and well-supported health workers (including doctors, nurses, clinical officers, midwives, and community health workers) are critical to the development and success of African health systems, AMREF and the Open University will soon be embarking on a partnership to train health workers through distance learning.

The partnership was formed after recognising the common goals and ambitions of AMREF and the OU:

AMREF, Africa’s leading health development organisation, provides training for health workers in 33 African countries, equipping them with the necessary skills to address their countries’ biggest health issues; from HIV/AIDS, to antenatal care, malaria, waterborne diseases, cervical cancer to cleft palate repair. Committed to providing the best, most relevant service possible, AMREF is an expert in curricula and Human Resources for Health (HRH) development. Using an array of training methods; from classroom-based, to print-based distance learning courses to eLearning and online trainings, AMREF brings training opportunities to those who need it the most.

Open University is a world leader in modern distance learning and has recently launched the Health Education and Training (HEAT) programme in Africa. This ambitious programme aims to train 250,000 Community Health Workers (CHW) over the next five years through providing distance learning modules to increase their skills and capabilities. The HEAT programme is now piloting in Ethiopia, but is ready to be taken to other African countries, and has the flexibility and potential to be adapted for use by midwives, doctors, nurses, and other health workers.

Recognising this shared commitment to increasing Human Resources for Health (HRH) in Africa, through this new partnership AMREF and OU will share experience and expertise, working together to develop, implement and manage distance training programmes for mid-level and community health workers. AMREF and OU will collaborate in submitting applications for joint funding, build partnerships with organisations with similar goals, and work together to roll out OU’s HEAT programme beyond Ethiopia.

“We believe that this collaboration will take AMREF’s innovative e-learning, m-learning and broader distance learning interventions further afield in Africa”, says Peter Ngatia, AMREF’s Director of Capacity Building.

“We hope to dramatically assist in the global effort to scale-up training of Human Resources for Health to ensure countries have the right numbers and competencies required for quality health delivery and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.”