Lasting health change : Access to health research for Africa’s health workers


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John Nduba, Director Reproductive and child health, AMREF Headquarters , Kenya

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  • Here’s the big picture of AMREF’s current business plan in action. AMREF’s focus is improving women’s and children’s health (target groups); through strengthening the health systems to achieve specific health outcomes (implementation). The documentation and research from these activities will enable replication of successful models, and evidence for advocacy to influence global and government policy and practice change. Enabling wide access to information on community health gathered through research, Monitoring and evaluation, and documented field experiences is crucial for AMREF to influence the necessary change required to bring health improvement to African communities, hence our great interest in the open access theme of this meeting
  •   As a leading organisation in African health development, it is crucial for AMREF to deliver on its health priorities in a focused and coordinated manner that supports the crucial needed health systems change in Africa. Carrying out research and effective documentation of its work is a vital ingredient of being able to do this, not least because Africa health systems need informed action on what works in community health improvement
  • The central AMREF library publishes the e-bulletin
  • The ART knowledge hub is a good example of a simple activity that increases access to relevant information for health workers involved in care of patients on treatment for HIV
  • The business plan identifies seven strategic directions: five of which are health priorities, the sixth relates to research and innovation and the seventh addresses restructuring of AMREF to enable it to deliver on the outcomes of the strategic directions one through six.
  • Health services cannot function without sufficient numbers of skilled, motivated and supported health workers. Estimates suggest that Africa needs 1 million more health workers in order to meet the health-related MDGs
  • Establishment of AMREF Virtual Nursing School to seek solutions to challenges
  • Lasting health change : Access to health research for Africa’s health workers

    1. 1. Open Access Africa 2011 Access to Health Research for Africa’s Health Workers Presented by: Dr. John Nduba African Medical and Research Foundation Lasting Health Change in Africa OCTOBER 2011
    2. 2. AFRICAN MEDICAL AND RESEARCH FOUNDATION (AMREF) <ul><li>Is an international African Non-governmental organization (NGO) with a total focus on lasting health change in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF was founded in Kenya in 1957, initially to provide specialist medical outreach services to remote communities in East Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Has since grown to a major community health development organization with Programme offices in 7 African countries and direct reach through training, partnerships and consultancy in 33 other African countries </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF focuses on grassroots causes of ill-health in communities and supporting health systems change to address health needs – this is summarized in the next slide </li></ul>
    3. 3. Target Groups Women, Mothers, neonates and children Children under 5 Adolescents Training / task- shifting health workers Surgical outreach / laboratory services Strengthened community-based organisations Supporting community water /sanitation systems Behaviour change communication Health Systems Strengthening Building Blocks Community Systems Strengthening Supporting infrastructure Use health information for planning and programming Implementation Human Resources for Health Health Management Information Systems R E S E A R C H PO L I CY CHANGE Link community information with Ministry of Health information systems
    4. 4. AFRICAN MEDICAL AND RESEARCH FOUNDATION (AMREF) <ul><li>AMREF focuses on three broad health system approaches: </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building for community and health systems including development and support to community health workers </li></ul><ul><li>Improving health information </li></ul><ul><li>Human resources for health, particularly regarding the issues of health worker numbers and skills, training approaches including task shifting, and deployment and retention </li></ul><ul><li>The nest slide summarizes target groups and entry points into implementation of these approaches through AMREf’s newly developed business plan covering the next 3 years. Access to information and research findings for health workers is crucial for achievement of AMREF’s objectives </li></ul>
    5. 5. Challenges in Accessing Research <ul><li>What challenges do health workers have in accessing </li></ul><ul><li>relevant research? </li></ul><ul><li>Low investment in research within the continent </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of infrastructure for accessing research online </li></ul><ul><li>In appropriate platforms to share research </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of accessing research (in print or online) </li></ul>
    6. 6. AMREFs Response <ul><li>AMREF Resource Centres </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF’s KnowledgeHub </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF eLearning Programme </li></ul>
    7. 7. The AMREF Resource Centre
    8. 8. AMREF Resource Centres <ul><li>Established in 1980 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A central place to provide AMREF staff with information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collections mainly in print (Books and Journals). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited information services e.g. Dialup Internet Access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Upgraded the Resource Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Unlimited Access to the Internet since year 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Access to Online Resources (Over 13,500 eJournals, eBooks) </li></ul><ul><li>Enabled by development partners such as WHO, INASP and main publishers in Europe & USA </li></ul><ul><li>Opened services to other institutions and the general public </li></ul><ul><li>2002 Opened Resource Centre to other institutions & general public </li></ul>
    9. 9. AMREF Resource Centres <ul><li>Establishment of Resource Centres AMREF Country Programmes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AMREF Maridi South Sudan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AMREF Juba, South Sudan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AMREF Tanzania </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AMREF Uganda </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All Resource Centres have e-Centres </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a platform to share AMREF experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Provide access to online resource </li></ul>
    10. 10. AMREF Resource Centres <ul><li>THE DIGITAL RESOURCE CENTRE </li></ul><ul><li>Aims: </li></ul><ul><li>To manage knowledge generated & documented from AMREF </li></ul><ul><li>To enable sharing of AMREF’s knowledge Internally & externally </li></ul><ul><li>To further extend access to Online resources for health workers </li></ul><ul><li>Databases: </li></ul><ul><li>Articles published by AMREF staff (Bibliographic) </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF publications (Full Text) </li></ul><ul><li>Grey & published literature mainly tropical health (Bibliographic) </li></ul><ul><li>Books and videos Database (Bibliographic) </li></ul><ul><li>Image Gallery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data entry from all Resource Centres </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Other Methods of Knowledge Sharing <ul><li>Other Methods of Knowledge Sharing: </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly e-Bulletin </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Ask the Librarian’ Service </li></ul><ul><li>Selective Dissemination of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Currently collaborating with: </li></ul><ul><li>Dundee University, UK </li></ul><ul><li>Mancosa, College, South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>St Lawrence University, USA </li></ul><ul><li>Tulane University, USA </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Improved materials collection </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing experiences </li></ul>
    12. 12. AMREF Resource Centres <ul><li>RESULTS </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF’s Knowledge available and accessible from one central location </li></ul><ul><li>Faster & effective decision making within the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of knowledge internally and externally practical </li></ul><ul><li>Motivates staff to share more </li></ul><ul><li>Creates demand for services </li></ul><ul><li>FUTURE PLANS </li></ul><ul><li>Make more use of Internet to reach more targets </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Web Based Portals </li></ul><ul><li>Establish more Resource Centres in AMREF Country Offices including Ethiopia, South Africa, South Sudan </li></ul>
    13. 13. ART KnowledgeHub
    14. 14. ART KnowledgeHub <ul><li>PROJECT BACKGROUND </li></ul><ul><li>The Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Knowledge Hub seeks to ensure quality service is provided to PLWHAs </li></ul><ul><li>Concept after the “3by5” strategy (treating 3M by 2005) by WHO </li></ul><ul><li>Key obstacles to the achievement of the this WHO strategy (ART scale up) which was chronic shortage of trained human resource for health. </li></ul>
    15. 15. ART KnowledgeHub <ul><li>PROJECT OBJECTIVES </li></ul><ul><li>Train the necessary health workforce (with Ministries of Health) for the scale up ART Services </li></ul><ul><li>To provide HCWs with easy access to online knowledge resources and most current guidelines and research on the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS to reinforce acquisition of knowledge and skills (capacity building) and promote delivery of quality services to patients </li></ul>
    16. 16. ART Knowledge Hub <ul><li>Knowledge Dissemination Services </li></ul><ul><li>The Hub employs several ways to disseminate much needed information on treatment and care of PLWHAs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical ART Information hub – walk in service (located at the AMREF Resource Centre) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information request service (for registered Resource centre members) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website/ web portal – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly eBulletin – send an email to [email_address] to subscribe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online c ase presentation and experience sharing discussion forum </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. How the ART eForum Looks
    18. 18. How the ART eBulletin Looks
    19. 19. eLearning @ AMREF
    20. 20. AMREFs eLearning Programme <ul><ul><li>Health services cannot function without </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sufficient numbers of skilled , motivated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and supported health workers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AMREF is training health workers in close to 40 African countries using various modes of training including eLearning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal of AMREFs eLearning programme is to cost-effectively expand access to quality training for health workers across sub-Saharan Africa. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The programme began as a pilot in 4 schools in Kenya in 2005 and has expanded to national programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania supported by the respective Ministries of Health </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. AMREFs eLearning Programme <ul><li>The eLearning programme provides continuing professional development (CPD) as well as diploma courses to health workers. </li></ul><ul><li>The courses focus on both technical and soft skills </li></ul><ul><li>Students can access the courses in several ways including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CDROM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The network of 110 eLearning Centres located in health facilities across Kenya </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online (via PC or mobile phone) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile learning (mobile phone) </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Accessing eLearning @ AMREF <ul><li>Students can access the courses in several ways: </li></ul>
    23. 23. Conclusion <ul><li>This quick overview shows some of the ways in which AMREF is helping respond to the information challenges facing African health workers and systems </li></ul><ul><li>Use of emerging information and innovations have a huge role to play in improving health and health systems in Africa, but tools alone cannot do it – the content needs to be developed and made available </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing and making information available to Africa’s health workers and practitioners is an urgent issue for the improvement of health services delivery in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>AMREF has the base to become a valued partner in Open Access and making local knowledge widely available to those who need it most </li></ul>
    24. 24. For further information: AMREF Headquarters PO Box 27691 Nairobi 00506 Kenya Ph: +254 20 699 3000 Website: Email: ? ? ?