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Accenture Development Partnerships collaborated with the African Medical and Research Foundation to create a visionary e-learning plan to train 20,000 Kenyan nurses in just five years—and so dramatically improve the health care in the country.
The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve health and health care in Africa. AMREF aims to ensure that every African can enjoy the right to good health by helping to create vibrant networks of informed communities that work with empowered health care providers in strong health systems.
AMREF's work strengthens Africa's health systems and health human resources and uses six entry points that include HIV/AIDS; malaria; safe water and basic sanitation; family health; disaster management and emergency response; and health care-related training.
AMREF is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and is the continent's leading health development organization. In 2005, AMREF won the prestigious Gates Award for Global Health for making a major and lasting contribution to the field of health in Africa. To learn more about AMREF, visit www.amref.org.
Every day in Africa, more than 3,000 children under the age of 5 die from malaria—a devastating statistic that illustrates why the continent urgently needs to increase the number of frontline health care workers who are qualified to treat such diseases as malaria, the leading cause of child morbidity and mortality in Africa. More than 85 percent of Kenya's nurses are "enrolled nurses," unable to obtain the advanced training needed for a "registered nurse" diploma. With that diploma, registered nurses have the skills to combat the spread of diseases such as malaria, AIDS/HIV and tuberculosis that have such a devastating impact on the country.
Although there are nearly 20,000 "enrolled" nurses waiting to upgrade to "registered" status, Kenya has the resources and classrooms to train only 100 registered nurses a year using traditional classroom methods. At that rate, it would take literally hundreds of years to certify these 20,000 enrolled nurses.
To address Kenya's shortage of qualified health care workers, AMREF was asked by the Kenyan Ministry of Health to find a rapid and sustainable health care training process to upgrade Kenya's 20,000 "enrolled" nurses to "registered" status.
In 2005, AMREF teamed with Accenture and the Kenya Nursing Council to develop a revolutionary e-learning program that would enable Kenya to train and certify these 20,000 nurses in just five years.
Under the five-year program, Accenture is donating $2.9 million to AMREF to develop and implement an innovative e-learning program to address Kenya's critical nursing shortage. The donation consists of a $1.7 million contribution by the Accenture Foundations along with $1.2 million of in-kind services, including program management expertise and 14,500 hours of donated time from professionals in Accenture Learning, an Accenture business that provides learning outsourcing services.
One of the primary goals of the e-learning initiative is self-sufficiency. The project was designed to gradually transfer skills and knowledge from Accenture Learning, giving AMREF an increasing ability to manage the technological elements of the program, as well as to lead efforts to provide local Kenyan support and coordination.
By educating AMREF to administer and expand the project on its own, the organization will not be as dependent on outside help after the initial five-year ramp-up period and will better enable it to develop similar programs in Kenya and other African nations.
"This program is not only going to drastically improve the health system in Kenya, it is also going to be replicated by other countries—and the positive impact on Africa’s health system will be enormous."—Peter Ngatia, Director of Learning Systems for AMREF
AMREF is on schedule to achieve its goal of certifying nearly 20,000 registered nurses by 2011. Four modules consisting of 143 hours of training have been developed and deployed. The help desk and learning management system have been rolled out.
More than 100 e-learning centers—many in the remotest areas of Kenya—have been established to deliver the e-learning training, and 27 nursing schools have also implemented the program. As of March 2010, more than 6,600 nurses have enrolled in the e-learning program and more than 1,000 have already graduated. In addition the program has started to be replicated in other countries—with enrollment going ahead in Uganda.
Additionally, knowledge transfer to AMREF personnel—including content development, technology and program management skills—is complete.
AMREF and Accenture have been recognized for their contributions and global efforts on this program, including 2006 Gold Medal Laureate for the ComputerWorld Honors Program and a profile in the 2006 Global Corporate Citizenship Report (US Chamber of Commerce). The AMREF e-learning program has also been featured in the Financial Times and the CNN documentary Inside Africa.
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