As an enrolled midwife and the face of the Stand Up for African Mothers Campaign, Esther Madudu could not hold back her excitement towards the prospects of upgrading to a registered midwife with minimum disruption to her work schedules over a two year period.
Electronic Learning (eLearning) refers to learning delivered using electronic means through internet, intranet, CD-ROM to access the learning material outside the traditional classroom.
Esther Madudu is among the midwives who have benefited from the eLearning midwifery training scholarship by Amref Health Africa.
In 2012, Amref Health Africa launched the eLearning project, as part of its commitment to train 15000 midwives in Africa under the ongoing Stand up for African Mothers campaign, which allows midwives like Esther to acquire further education without leaving their workstation.
As part of the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign and with support from partners like GSK Sanofi, Amref Health Africa in Uganda has recently equipped the ten Public Compressive schools of Nursing and Midwifery with facilities to boost their capacity in offering eLearning for enrolled midwives.
Soroti School of Nursing and Midwifery located 26kms away from Esther Madudu’s health facility, was among the beneficiary schools which has enabled her and colleagues to enroll.
In a country where the number of patients outmatches the number of nurses and midwives at an average ratio of 1:3000 for nurse/midwife to patient. With the recommended standard by World Health Organization at 1:4 for midwives, the eLearning approach has tremendously improved access to continuous medical education for midwives in Uganda.
“I am currently receiving an array of additional training in diagnosis of disease, care of newborn babies, management of labour and its complication, basic emergency comprehensive care for the mother and newborn among others” said Esther during an interview.
Esther narrates her dream on completion of the 2 year course, “The course will enable me to acquire more skills to save more mothers on a daily basis. With my recent recognition by the Ministry of Health for outstanding performance in Uganda for the financial year 2013/14, I feel with these additional skills, I will be in a position to pass on my skills and experience to the midwifery students and also continue to inspire more high school students to join the midwifery profession” says Esther.
“Previously I had applied and was admitted in different Nursing and Midwifery schools, for the same course but as a full time student. This and the fact that I could not afford the school dues have prevented me from attending this course in the past couple of years”, she added.
Esther concluded, “On enrollment, together with my colleagues at the health facility we re-organized the shifts, which allowed time off in the night shifts to complete my assignments. The major advantage is that the school calendars are fitted to ensure there is minimal disruption at workstations even when attending the face to face exams and practical sessions. However, it is indeed a challenge that we do not have internet on the health facility.”