Kenya’s Health Workforce Looks to Technology for Training in Family Planning

‘Capitalizing on the spread of mobile phones and the growing capability of mobile technology, K4Health is implementing a program in Kitui, Kenya, to support refresher family planning training for students and health workers…

‘K4Health has a large repository of global family planning and reproductive health technical content, including eLearning courses, toolkits, journal articles, and more. For the past year and a half we’ve been looking into ways to adapt our global content to platforms that can reach health program managers and health providers that have limited access to our online content. One popular solution we found is Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which allows content to be sent as an audio recording via a phone call to a user’s mobile phone.

‘The training we designed is based on the Spaced Education learning methodology, which requires participants to answer 20 questions on family planning methods and counseling correctly twice in a row…

‘Janet Muli, a Diploma in Nursing student in her second year, told us, “I liked the mobile learning because, one thing, it is not expensive. You only send a request that you are ready to answer. They call you, they give you an explanation of a certain question. They are using simple language to explain to you. Even you can call at anytime when you’re free. You’re not limited in time. That’s the good thing about the Family Planning Counseling [training].”…

‘Perhaps one of the most interesting findings was that mobile phones are the most popular way of accessing information online. Both students and staff at the nearby hospital talked about using their phones to search the Internet, which they found preferable to using a computer. Phones are cheaper and easier to carry and charge than a laptop.

‘One key finding was that participants wanted to learn how to better search for information online. “I want to know where to go to find accurate, up-to-date information on family planning,” said one participant. “Such as what is supported by the WHO or not. I just Google and don’t know if what turns up is correct.” […]’

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