Leap, the mobile-learning platform
Using pioneering mobile technology to train frontline health workers at scale.
Training Community Health Workers
Since 2013, Amref Health Africa has worked as part of a public-private partnership, together with Accenture, M-Pesa Foundation, Safaricom, Vodafone, and the Government of Kenya, to develop a sustainable and scalable mobile learning academy for health workers and Community Health Workers (CHWs) across Africa.
The outcome of this partnership is Leap: an integrated mobile health platform that uses regular updates and peer-to-peer communication to strengthen the skills of health workers. Compatible with both smart and basic mobile devices, Leap uses SMS and audio messages to deliver training in modules that can be taken at CHWs’ own pace, using interactive quizzes to test their knowledge. Since CHWs mostly operate on a voluntary basis, the vast majority still have full-time jobs and family responsibilities, which makes keeping up with classroom-based training extremely difficult. With Leap, CHWs can fit the training in around their own schedule, meaning they don’t have to take time away from their jobs or families.
Responding to COVID-19
One of the critical advantages of an mHealth training platform such as Leap is the ability to rapidly mobilise health workers at scale in the event of an emergency disease outbreak. For this reason, Leap was commissioned by various Ministries of Health across sub-Saharan Africa to support the training of health workers and CHWs in the COVID-19 response.
In Ethiopia, the government is using Leap to train Health Extension Workers* in surveillance, early detection, tracking, and treatment referral of COVID-19. Covering four modules, the mobile learning course combines interactive SMS and audio training with regular tests, equipping HEWs with the knowledge required to support their communities in preventing and containing the virus. Since Leap is compatible with both smart and basic mobile devices, the information is accessible even to those in the most remote areas of the country.
*Health Extension Workers are the Ethiopian equivalent of Community Health Workers. However, unlike in many other African countries, they are part of the formal health system – and paid.