More than 85% of Kenya’s 20,000 nurses are trained at certificate level but do not have registered nurses’ diplomas. They are left inadequately qualified to treat major diseases, such as HIV, TB, and malaria.
Classroom-based training for the registered nurses’ diploma has been very limited, only 100 of the 20,000 nurses can qualify each year. This has left Kenya with just one registered nurse per 27,000 people.
To speed the process, AMREF and the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) have shifted the emphasis from traditional classroom based teaching to ‘paper-based’ distance learning and further to ‘eLearning’.
In partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, Accenture (a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company), the Kenya Medical Training Colleges, and several private and faith-based nursing schools, AMREF and NCK are:
- Using E-learning to register nearly 20,000 Kenyan nurses
- Training AMREF and NCK staff to run and monitor the E-learning program
- Advocating for the E-learning program to be replicated in other African countries
Main objectives of the project
AMREF, NCK, and Accenture have developed four computer-based training modules to be delivered through more than 100 E-learning centers – reaching nurses in the most remote areas of Kenya. Twenty-five nursing schools are also taking part in the program. To date, more than 12,000 nurses have enrolled in the program and use both print and eLearning modules.
Unlike traditional training, the E-learning program is flexible and enables students to learn anytime and anywhere, without the need to stop working as they upgrade their skills.
AMREF staff and local partners are fully trained to manage and further expand the program regionally. AMREF will use the program as a model for other African countries struggling with critical nursing shortages.
According to Dr. Peter Ngatia, Director of Capacity Building for AMREF, "This program is not only going to drastically improve the health care of Kenya, it is also going to be emulated by other countries – and the impact on Africa's health system will be enormous."
The Registrar of the Nursing Council of Kenya states, “We are proud of the E-learning program as nurse managers are reporting an improvement in the quality of nursing care. With improved nursing care, we are confident of our contribution in steering our country towards meeting the health related Millennium development goals.”
- Accenture has fully equipped nurses with the IT and management skills needed to expand and run the program long-term.
- The education process has been revolutionized by harnessing computer-based learning to boost Kenya's medical training capacity.
- A Virtual Nursing School has been set up at AMREF to test and document the implementation of an eLearning solution in strengthening the human resources for health in a low-income, resource constrained environment.
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