His Royal Highness, the Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander paid a courtesy call on AMREF recently. The prince who is the Patron of AMREF in Netherlands visited various AMREF projects.
The meeting at AMREF’s Headquarters in Nairobi focussed on innovative ways that AMREF has adopted to build the capacity of health workers. One such project is the mLearning project, JIBU. This project promotes the use of mobile phones in the training of health workers. The project being implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania seeks to complement the existing eLearning programme by using mobile devices to provide increased access to learning materials and health information to nurses and midwives.
Netherlands has been very supportive of AMREF’s programmes in Africa. AMREF’s Director General Dr Teguest Guerma thanked His Royal Highness for the support and assured him that AMREF had made an impact in the health sector in Africa. She stressed on the fact that AMREF is internationally recognised and plays a key role in influencing the global health agenda.
Dr Peter Ngatia, AMREF’s Director of Capacity Building reiterated the fact that mobile phones were generally affordable and that nearly all community health workers in the rural areas had them. He said that JIBU mLearning project had the potential of making learning more widely available and accessible. Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from health workforce crisis with most health facilities having a staffing level of just 50% and training new cadres of health professionals and upgrading skills of current workers is essential to meeting human capital needs.
The Prince was impressed by AMREF’s achievements in utilising technology to disseminate health education to nurses and midwives. The Dutch Postcode Lottery CEO Marieke van Shaik also expressed her satisfaction with AMREF’s quality of work and professionalism.