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Amref, M-Pesa Foundation intensify mobile training, eye 3,000 community health workers

By James Wanzala | January 30th 2015

NAIROBI: At least 3,000 community health workers are set to benefit from the launch of the second phase of a mobile training platform created by Amref, Accenture and M-Pesa Foundation.

Following a successful pilot of the initiative dubbed Health Enablement and Learning Platform (HELP) in Samburu, Mwingi and Kibera with 319 Community health workers and volunteers, the second phase of the programme will see a larger pool of health workers access the service.

M-Pesa Foundation Executive Director Les Baillie noted that training of community health workers and volunteers was critical in delivery of quality health services.

"We should move away from viewing community health workers as an alternative and instead have them as an integral part of the State's responsibility for health-care delivery. This is the strategy the Brazilian government adopted and has worked amazingly well," he said.

The M-Pesa Foundation has injected Sh138 million into the second phase of the programme. The pilot phase was implemented at a cost of Sh41 million.

Amref Health Africa CEO Lennie Bazira said HELP targets pre-service and existing, in-service community health workers and volunteers with m-learning programmes that are aimed at developing their skills and capacity.

"We are leveraging on mobile technology to offer training that is aligned to the Ministry of Health curriculum," Dr Bazira said.

Through the programme, community health workers are able to access training material via a basic mobile phone where they can listen to a pre-recorded training session.

"We recognise that merging mobile technology with health training systems offers opportunities for increased reach and scale, providing an effective channel for personalised, flexible learning for community health workers and widespread improvement in the provision of healthcare throughout Kenya and beyond," said Accenture Managing Director Louise James.

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