The Emergency Obstetric and Quality of Care Unit (EmOC&QoC) recently launched an innovative approach to CPD for health care professionals involved in the provision of ANC and PNC in Low-income countries. A feasibility study of this package in Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania will be completed in December 2022. This exciting approach to training using the blended learning approach combines online study with face-to-face training. The blended learning approach to training for health care professionals is increasingly adopted in many countries because of high costs and disruption to service delivery when healthcare providers are pulled away from health facilities to attend face to face trainings.
Drawing on lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need to change from a reliance on traditional face-to-face education approaches to embrace blended learning. With Support from the Global Fund, the EmOC&QoC unit at LSTM repackaged the ANC and PNC training course that had been previously implemented as a standalone face-to-face training into a blended learning package. The course content covers essential components of ANC and PNC such as, integration of HIV, TB, and malaria services, quality of care, respectful maternity care, communication, and emotional and mental health assessment. It sets out how antenatal and postnatal care can be organised such that it is comprehensive, integrated and differentiated. This course involves working through content delivered under three parts:
Part 1: Self-directed learning
During the self-directed learning, participants are encouraged to engage with online course content at their own pace and timing over a period of two weeks. Course instructions, pre-recorded lectures and reading materials are uploaded onto an online platform developed by the World Continuing Education Alliance (WCEA). Upon completion of the self-directed learning, participants are invited to complete part two, zoom sessions.
Part 2: Facilitated virtual/online sessions
During this session, participants attend live sessions delivered via zoom. Learners can interact with other participants and faculty at the live events. These sessions are meant to consolidate what was covered during the self-directed learning through use of case scenarios and discussions. The zoom sessions are delivered over a period of three days lasting for 2.5 hours per day. Upon completion of the zoom sessions, learners are invited to complete part three of the blended learning course.
A learner from Nigeria shares their experience of the course,
“The module is highly educative; I don’t need to travel to learn and can use it to get CPD points. I wish we have more of this on a regular basis”
Part 3: Face-to-face sessions
Face-to-face sessions are delivered in-person with both the learners and faculty in attendance. During this session, participants engage in activities designed to enable them acquire hands on skills and apply the theoretical concepts covered in the self-directed and zoom sessions. This is the last component of the three-part course delivered over two days. The ANC-PNC blended learning course is expected to shorten the duration of face-to-face trainings and provide economic benefits of saving on human and material resources.
The self-directed learning component is available on the World Continuing Education Alliance Learning Management System and is freely accessible to health professionals affiliated with medical and midwifery councils in 45 countries and 63 professional medical and nursing/midwifery associations.
Other health professional CPD courses developed by EmOC&QoC unit include Four Lifesaving Emergency Obstetric Care Modules developed in collaboration with UNFPA, self-directed learning component of Advanced Obstetric and Anaesthetic care course and self-directed learning component of Midwifery Educator CPD programme.