New Resource Spotlight: Two eLearning Courses for Scaling Up Health Workforce Education and Training

To ensure adequate access to health services, many countries need to increase the number of health workers being trained. However, available funding often falls far short of what is required to produce enough health workers.

Since many countries are unlikely to increase their public-sector budgets for health professional education, they need to identify new sources of funding. These countries can also learn from the recent expansion and success of private-sector health professional schools. With health training needs increasing and country budgets not keeping pace, private-sector schools will soon produce more health workers than public-sector institutions.

CapacityPlus recently launched two new eLearning courses to help country stakeholders scale up health workforce education and training:

The World Health Organization estimates there is now a global shortage of 7.2 million doctors, nurses, and midwives. This number doesn’t include the other cadres of clinical health workers needed, such as midlevel and community health workers, or nonclinical managers and support workers. According to Heather Ross, one of the authors of the courses, even more need to be trained: “We can expect a third will either stop working, retire, get sick, or migrate. So, if we need to hire and retain 7.2 million doctors, nurses, and midwives, we need to train at least ten million.”

The courses are designPreservice education in Malied for people involved in training health workers or health education policy, especially those working in sub-Saharan Africa. They are available for free on the QStream platform. QStream is an innovative learning methodology delivered through the Internet that uses a unique question-and-answer format to create and reinforce learning. The format encourages long-term retention of information: questions are sent to participants in small amounts on a regular schedule via e-mail until they are answered correctly twice. Questions can be accessed from a computer or a mobile phone, and participants decide how many they will receive and on what schedule.

To enroll in the courses, go to and follow the instructions to sign up.

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 Photo by Trevor Snapp/courtesy of IntraHealth International (Preservice education in Mali)