Community Health Workers help to fill the health worker gap, providing basic health care and education to their communities, families and children. However, many developing and emerging countries are facing a severe shortage, and significant skills gap, of frontline health workers.
Typically, Community Health Workers are trained by traditional face to face classroom training. This method of training has its challenges:
Poor knowledge retention after health workers have been trained, with no easy way to revisit training modules
High attrition due to low ongoing health worker engagement
Inability to rapidly connect and mobilise health workers in an outbreak
Since 2013, Amref Health Africa has worked with a public private partnership (Accenture, M-Pesa Foundation, Safaricom, Vodafone (Mezzanine) and Government of Kenya) to develop a sustainable and scalable mobile learning academy for health workers across Africa.
LEAP is an integrated mobile health platform that uses regular updates and peer-to-peer communication to strengthen the skills of healthworkers. So far we have seen:
Improved CHW engagement and reduced attrition
Better CHW knowledge retention
Strengthened community health unit cohesiveness
Faster responses and mobilisations to outbreaks
mLearning complements initial face to face training, enabling the Community Health Workers to learn at their own pace, at their own time using their own mobile devices while in their communities. LEAP delivers approved Ministry of Health curricula and more, through a combination of text and audio messages, making it accessible through basic mobile phones.
To date, 3,000 Community Health Workers in Kenya have been trained using the platform, drawn from urban, rural and nomadic sites. Over 300,000 people have benefitted from the training.