E-learning for Health

A one-and-a-half day workshop to share and exchange experiences and knowledge on e-teaching and learning development for health was held in Do Son district, Hai Phong on 31 July 2018. The workshop marked the completion of the pilot phase with 28 healthcare subjects available on Hai Phong Medical University website portal, each with audio, video and digital presentations, under two main courses specifically tailored to pre- and in-service training for medical students, doctors, nurses and health practitioners. Electronic lessons cover a variety of topics such as primary coastal healthcare, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), clinical immunology, primary pediatrics and etc.

This e-learning programme has been developed through the project on innovative E-learning approach for health, which aims to improve coverage and quality of health services at district and community levels in the Northern Coastal Region of Viet Nam, including areas of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh and far-flung areas. The project with its USD 990,000 funding from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Facility Fund, was channeled to Viet Nam through UNDP (financial management support) and WHO (technical support). It is one vivid example of South-South cooperation in key area of education and healthcare, utilizing the advanced ITC infrastructure and innovation.

The e-learning knowledge sharing workshop attracted around 90 participants from medical schools, universities and medical institutions in Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and nearby provinces. Ambassadors from South Africa and India together with Counsellor of South Africa and Counsellor of Brazil as representatives from IBSA Fund and WHO Country Representative also participated in the workshop. The project’s Steering Committee meeting was organized on the same day to review the progress and challenges ahead for implementing remaining project activities until December 2018 and strategies for project sustainability upon its completion. The experience of South-South collaboration, facilitated through the project is expected to generate analytical work that contribute to building a base of evidence to further effective South-South cooperation in the area of e-learning and health and in the broader context of development cooperation to achieve SDG17 - Partnerships for the Goals.

Through the development and implementation of a model e-learning system for health, the project rather than moving people to the institutions, has effectively moved knowledge and learning to fields where health workers are and thereby preventing loss of time, money and effort and thus saving society’s opportunity cost. In doing so, the e-learning platform creates more flexibility, opportunities and enhances access for continued medical education, especially for grassroots medical practices and in remote areas. In practice, many medical doctors and health workers, especially those working at the primary health care level and in far-flung areas, do not have sufficient opportunity to access appropriate and high-quality training courses.

In health sector, where knowledge and skills require frequent updates alongside with growing complex NCDs diseases and frequent changes in medical techniques and technologies, e-learning platform will support health workers to effectively implement prevention, management of treatment for various health issues. The e-learning platform which transcends the physical border and locations is also expected to provide an effective forum and venue to frequently facilitate and host continued technical discussion and peer learning with skillful medical practitioners nationwide and overseas, including South-South countries.

Besides the content development of courses, the project also provides Hai Phong Medical University, the national partner of the project and the only medical institution providing training for the health workforce in northern coastal areas, facilities such as a studio with recording equipment, and computer room to provide on campus e-learning environment as well as to serve continuous updates, maintenance and development of new courses. The next phase of the project will focus on roll-out of actual learning courses after piloting, development of additional 30 digital health subjects and feasible roadmap for sustaining the project outcomes.

Efforts to strengthen the pre-service and in-service medical training contribute to the overarching priorities of the medical education reform in Viet Nam, including the Ministry of Health’s Health Professional and Education Training project, and have implications to the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment.

The presence of HPET project members in the IBSA Knowledge Sharing workshop might result in potential incorporation of eLearning modules in medical education in Vietnam.

With a focus on ensuring more equitable access for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged group to increased quality comprehensive health system in the Northern Coastal Region of Viet Nam, the project will also contribute to Viet Nam’s realization of SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), 4 (Quality education), 10 (Reduced inequalities) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities).

Visit E-learning Platform, Hai Phong Medical University websitehttp://elearning.hpmu.edu.vn/

For more information, please contact:
Trần Thi Loan, WHO Viet Nam. 84-24-38500295. Email: wpvnmmedia@who.int

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