Worldwide there are 11 million deaths of children under five each year. As many as 65% of these could be prevented by known and affordable interventions. This failure to apply knowledge to action, known as the “Know-Do Gap”, is particularly high in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, where 100 million people are served by only 7,500 doctors and 70,000 nurses and midwives. The INEPEA project aims to improve education and knowledge of health workers to strengthen health systems and reduce the “Know-Do Gap” in these countries.
INEPEA project will set up a Knowledge Network (KN) of Higher Education Institutions concerned with the training of nurses and midwives. This will apply to training in both the public and private sectors in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The aim of the network is to design and develop a common urriculum for continuing nurse education that will ultimately strengthen health systems. The KN will be formed by senior staff of the Aga Khan University School of Nursing, Kenyatta University School of Health Sciences, Makerere University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing) and Zanzibar College of Health Sciences. The network will in turn establish Communities of Practice, including experts and practitioners, to develop training modules relevant to local needs.
Strengthening training and knowledge management skills Following a detailed assessment of training and development needs of the partner institutions to deliver nurse education, INEPEA partners will pool their knowledge to enhance leadership and knowledge management skills. This will expand health training capacity in the participating institutions. Workshops will aim to train staff of participating institutions and health instructors in health knowledge management and technology. The training will be conducted by subcontracted technical experts. There will also be sessions dedicated to the development of teaching materials and to deal with some immediate needs, such as internet connection problems or difficulty of access to digital libraries. Here, the partners will draw on their extensive experience and some of the already developed training modules relevant for diseases such as AIDS and malaria. The partners will also provide a research focus and appropriate technical means to share knowledge.
Developing common curricula After determining the learning objectives for nurses and midwives in continuing education, assessment criteria and learning credit values, INEPEA partners will propose a common curriculum and certificated training modules that can lead to higher degrees for nurses and midwives. This will enable nurses to develop knowledge and skills to progress to a Master’s Degree in Nursing. The curriculum will adopt a blended learning approach with credit bearing, short taught courses, supervised instruction and distance learning.
Beyond the Higher Education Institutions, INEPEA will engage Health Ministries, Professional Associations, Nursing and Midwifery Councils. The School of Nursing of Nottingham University (UK) and the University of Iowa (US) will facilitate the sharing of knowledge resources developed by the project across East Africa. They will advise on approaches on curriculum design and support the activities through online teaching and by enabling access to portable digital libraries.
Improving quality of life in East Africa INEPEA will result in strengthening the participating universities at the institutional level and improve the quality of teaching for nurses. It will help reduce the duplication of efforts and costs in nurse education. Yet more important, INEPEA will enable nurses in East Africa to obtain higher skills and qualifications that fit into the relevant qualification frameworks in the region and to develop new roles within the health system. The development of certified courses with clear learning credit values will strengthen their position and recognition and provide them with greater career opportunities to develop advanced nursing practice. This will play an important role in preventing a massive migration and brain drain of health workers.
In this way, INEPEA will contribute to improving the quality of life of the East African populations, that currently lack access to health care professionals with the appropriate skills and knowledge. This is particularly the case for poor rural women and children who have very limited access to health care. INEPEA partners believe that competent nurses and midwives providing primary, secondary and tertiary health care will contribute to a significant reduction in deaths and disease for rural women and children.
Concretely, INEPEA will contribute to reducing avoidable deaths by relatively simple low cost means such as the operation of Health Advice services using telephone helplines or specialised nurse-run clinics.
Source: ACE-EDU Link