Compiled by Roger Moraro, Hygiene and Behavior change expert, Amref Health Africa
Covid-19 has provided new opportunities for innovation and adaptation in healthcare delivery especially in the space of telehealth. With the extensive penetration of mobile phones and connectivity in Kenya, Amref Health Africa in Kenya explored using mobile phones to build the capacities of Community Health Volunteers (CHV’s) across target areas. This created new touch-points with our stakeholders via a platform that is available, affordable and personal. Working with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Amref deployed Leap, a scalable, interactive mobile learning solution that uses SMS and is targeted at community health volunteers via their mobile devices.
According to Abdallah Rutah Department of Health, Kwale County, the platform has been instrumental in creating awareness and behavior change information to CHV’s. he noted “Accessible from anywhere, our CHV’s have a personalized, vetted and trusted resource to help them improve their knowledge, on matters pertinent to their communities or areas of interest.
Covering five modules, the course combines interactive SMS and audio training with quizzes, equipping community health workers with the knowledge required to support their communities in preventing and containing the virus. Moreover, it measures enrolled learners’ progress through evaluations, quizzes and practical exercises, as well as real-time performance reports and supervision tools.
Learners can access content from its accredited database while also allowing them to interact and share knowledge with their peers through group chat, communicating anytime, anywhere, at the touch of a button. Multi-lingual, the platform also supports learner decisions at the community level through diagnostic trees and enabled learner support via a helpdesk system.
Designed as Africa’s first fully integrated mobile community health platform, Leap is available in 9 countries and it is accelerating the path to empowering a million community health workers while strengthening community health systems. So far 74,000 Community Health Workers have been on-boarded on the platform, 35,000 Community Health Workers trained through it and 3.5 million community household members reached with the much needed health education, basic first aid, nutrition and referral services.