Successful mLearning Pilot in Senegal: Delivering Family Planning Refresher Training Using Interactive Voice Response and SMS

This article in the June 2015 issue of Global Health: Science and Practice highlights the results of an assessment CapacityPlus conducted in Senegal of a prototype mLearning system that uses interactive voice response (IVR) and text messaging on basic mobile phones. IVR allows trainees to respond to audio recordings using their telephone keypads. The pilot included offering a refresher training course on the management of contraceptive side effects and misconceptions to 20 public-sector nurses and midwives in working in Mékhé and Tivaouane districts in the Thiès region. The authors concluded that the mLearning system proved appropriate, feasible, and acceptable to trainees, and it was associated with sustained knowledge gains.

mHealth Compendium Volume Four

The fourth edition of the mHealth compendium is a collection of 31 case studies, including one focused on application of CapacityPlus’s interactive voice response (IVR) mLearning platform to deliver refresher training to family planning providers in Senegal (page 68). The compendium also highlights the nine Principles for Digital Development, provides evidence for mHealth interventions, and identifies valuable databases, training materials, guidelines, and toolkits for mHealth project implementers.

Leveraging Information Technology to Bridge the Health Workforce Gap

CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle contributed to this “Perspectives” feature in the special issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization published in conjunction with the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. The article emphasizes the potential for leveraging recent investments in information technology infrastructure along with innovations in eHealth, mHealth, and social media in addressing global health workforce challenges. Ten recommendations are offered for training, empowering, and supporting health workers in resource-limited settings through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The authors conclude that “the ICT ‘train’ has left the station. It remains to be seen whether the global health workforce will ride along or remain behind.”

Eliminating Quacks and Improving Health Care in Uganda

The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council requires doctors and dentists to register and obtain an annual practicing license. Unfortunately “quacks” pose as medical practitioners, offering services without the appropriate training. Dr. Ssentongo Katumba, registrar of the council, explains how a new mobile directory based on mobile technology and the iHRIS software is helping the council identify quacks, as well as helping Ugandans seek services from qualified health workers.

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