Today we celebrated the launch of our latest initiative to help improve child and maternal health in Tanzania and were delighted that Dr. Seif Rashid, Tanzania’s Minister for Health and Social Welfare, could join us as guest of honor for the launch event in Dar es Salaam.
Our team in Tanzania has developed a new e-learning tool – accessible across Vital Strategies-supported facilities in Tanzania – to provide healthcare workers with access to the latest academic papers and training content on skills and procedures to help improve maternal and child health. Tanzania has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, so there is a special focus on making and executing the right decisions in emergency situations though pregnancy, labor and post-delivery in order to save the lives of mothers and their babies. Critically, the content also takes into account the particular circumstances of these health workers, working in these regions of Tanzania, where Assistant Medical Officers may have to perform emergency obstetric care – including caesarian sections – in the absence of specialist doctors and surgeons.The use of e-learning to improve the skills and knowledge of healthcare workers is well established in high income countries, but poor internet connectivity in rural areas, a lack of technological resources and a lack of skills or support can be barriers to the same tools being available in low and middle income countries like Tanzania.
We aren’t just providing a virtual classroom. This is also a tool for building a true community of care and learning. Research proves that critical knowledge and skills are more likely to be learned and retained through a combination of formal learning and what’s known as informal learning, like discussing situations or topics with mentors and peers. This tool has been designed to include functionality that enables staff across the Vital Strategies-supported health facilities to share success stories, ask for advice and share problems online.
We’re delighted with the support we received today from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and thankful to Merck for Mothers and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency for their continued support of our maternal health program in Tanzania. For more information on this initiative, click here.