Anne Kamene was one of the first students at Amref Health Africa's Virtual Training School (AVTS), training to become a registered nurse in 2007. She had previously joined a classroom-based scheme to gain her nursing certificate.
"I am a single mother, with two children. I always held an ambition to become a nurse. In 1992, I joined Muranga Medical Training Centre in Central Province to study for an Enrolled Community Health Nursing Certificate. The course took two and a half years to complete, at a cost of 30,000 Kenyan shillings. I had the option to continue studying for a registered nursing diploma, but by then my daughter was eight years old and I needed to begin working as a Community Nurse rather than continue study. I could not afford to pay tuition fees and there seemed to end my dream to become a nurse.
However, when I found out about Amref Health Africa's e-learning course, I started to hope that the opportunity was there for me after all. I enrolled on the e‐learning programme in March 2007, as part of the first class of students at AVNS. The best aspect of the programme was its flexibility, allowing me to remain in full-time employment. I did not have to leave my job or family.
I am more confident now, as I can diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, from mental illness to infectious diseases.
Before I joined the programme, I had never even used a computer before. To my surprise, I did not find it hard to adapt to e-learning. At Amref Health Africa, we spent two weeks being coached in IT skills. I would not say that I am computer literate, but I can use a computer well enough to run the programme. The e-learning programme taught me many new skills. I am more confident now, as I can diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, from mental illness to infectious diseases. Previously, I would rely on advice from senior nurses and doctors. Today, I can treat more patients independently. I am even able to notice mistakes made by doctors.
Now, I am a proud to say that I am a qualified registered nurse. My next dream is to one day continue my nursing education to degree level.
Before E-Learning was rolled out, there was only classroom space for 100 Enrolled Nurses to upgrade to Registered Nurse each year in Kenya. Since the E-Learning programme was been first implemented in 2005, over 7000 nurses have upgraded their qualifications to Registered Nurse status in Kenya. The programme has since been replicated for both nurse and midwifery training in Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar and Senegal, and Amref Health Africa have supported the Ministries of Health in Lesotho and Zambia to implement e-learning courses for health workers."