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African Health OER Network Overview - 2 pages


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This handout explains the motivations, approach, and impact of the African Health Open Educational Resources Network (

This case study was provided as a handout at ICTD2012 at this workshop:

This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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African Health OER Network Overview - 2 pages

  1. 1. The mission of the African Health Open Educational Resources (OER) Network (est. 2008) is to advance health education in Africa by creating and promoting free, openly licensed teaching materials created by Africans to share knowledge, address curriculum gaps, and support health education communities.Challenges to Health Education in Africa Approach The African continent represents the lowest percentage of the global1 healthcare workforce, has the lowest relative health expenditures, and ranks among the highest percentage of global disease burden.2 Basic sciences face scarce, aging, and emigrating teaching staff. Qualified students are turned away from health degree programs since there are3 not enough instructors or classroom spaces to accommodate them. Health educators are typically overburdened with repetitive instructional4 responsibilities in addition to clinical, research, and administrative tasks. Due to large lectures and crowded wards, students are regularly in learning5 situations where they cannot hear, cannot see, and cannot ask questions. Textbooks are usually expensive, out-of-date, and lack contextually6 appropriate scenarios, equipment, or images. Journals often have licensing fees priced so high that many hospitals and7 university libraries cannot afford subscriptions. Where instructional materials are available, policy (e.g. copyright, privacy)8 and technological barriers (e.g. power outages and surges, unreliable “African universities struggle to have access to information. If we Internet connections) often limit access. have information, why do we not also share it as part of a pool of universities? Using open licenses, our institutions are prepared to exchange information for the purpose of improved learning.” Prof. Peter Donkor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, KNUST (Ghana) Crowded conditions during rounds interfere with students’ ability to learn. Open Educational Resources enable students to review materials before and after each session to reinforce learning.
  2. 2. Local Materials + Open Licenses = Accomplishments*Greater Access, Visibility, and Use of Knowledge Worldwide 160 individuals trained in materials development and open licenses Egypt: Medical videos from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science individuals from 12 institutions Nigeria: Medical 115 created openly licensed materials and Technology and University of Ghana have received over 12,000 residents used gynecology original materials created by views in Egypt, 35,000 in Saudi Arabia, and 41,000 in India surgery videos from 339 Africans and shared as part of University of Ghana 135 learning modules Ethiopia: The minutes of instruction in a Ministry of Health 906 collection of 144 videos Ghana: University of distributed a Caesarean Ghana students used 466,000 total views of videos on YouTube section learning module an obstetrics module by University of Ghana from Kwame Nkrumah 620 newsletter subscribers worldwide University of Science and Uganda: Six East African Technology institutions include students to universities used a disaster 2 develop materials, freeing up management module from instructor time for other activities Botswana: University of Botswana Makerere University * as of February 2012 created a collection of pre-clinical supplemental resources using materials Malawi: University of Malawi from University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins adapted midwifery materials University, Tufts University, and others from Michigan State University Disciplines Represented South Africa: University of Cape Town created Mozambique: Universidade Eduardo • medicine an occupational health module that has been used Mondlane used open journal articles by University • public and community health on three continents (Africa, Europe, and South of Stellenbosch, Federal University of São Paulo, • pharmacology America) and has been translated into Spanish University of the West Indies, and others • health services administration • informatics “We have limited resources but because of the Internet, we can share. The South • behavioral sciences has diseases [the Global North] knows nothing about. Our materials are relevant to us and in the North.” A Network Participant from South Africa© 2012 The Regents of the University of Michigan. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License <>.