Virtual Course: Learning, Engaging and Interacting with mHero
West Africa’s Ebola outbreak reminds us that frontline health workers are a vital component of every health system, and structures must be put in place to continuously support them and their important work. The outbreak highlighted a critical need to establish a more robust communications and data collection system between health workers and their supervisors as they address priority health needs. Equipping health workers with the right kind of information about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease will enable them to support their communities to fight back against endemic and epidemic diseases. Information is power, and finding the fastest and most efficient ways to disseminate this information is key.
mHero is one way to harness the well-known power of mobile technology to reach frontline health workers. mHero is a communications platform that allows a ministry of health and others in healthcare to send information, questions, surveys, and training materials to frontline healthcare workers via their mobile phones, using currently available systems. It has been implemented up in Liberia and is being installed in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali.
IntraHealth International, with the support of the West African Health Organization, is announcing a new, free online course to inform health leaders, their staff, and others about mHero. The course, which will run April 4 - 29, 2016, will allow participants to engage through self-paced activities as well as join live session “office hours” with mHero experts for the first three weeks. The fourth week will feature a virtual workshop over the week where students will use all the components to develop, deploy, and use data in a use case. It is estimated up to two hours each week will be required for the course.
Target participants for the course include Ministries of Health and other governmental stakeholders, implementing partners, faith-based organizations and donors. The course will offer three tracks to be tailored to stakeholders (decision makers), system administrators (developers and ICT support staff) and mHero users (mHero team members involved in the day-to-day of mHero implementation).
The course objectives are:
- Learn how the mHero system works both in terms of technology and actual implementation
- Understand the different systems needed to roll out mHero
- Navigate workflows that are used to contact frontline healthcare workers and request and share information
- Use the mHero data to inform health leaders for action to support health workers and health services
Materials Needed for the Course
- Laptop or desktop computer with an up-to-date browser and an Internet connection of 256Kbps (512Kbps recommended)
- Mobile phone with SMS texting capability
The free course will be offered in April over four consecutive weeks. Each week participants will have access to reading materials, presentations, videos, discussion forums and quizzes to further their learning and engagement in mHero. The course will give participants opportunities to engage with mHero users and experts through live “office hours” that will occur one hour each week. These sessions will provide a platform to ask questions and get answers about mHero programmatic implementation as well as technical components of the platform. Participants successfully completing all exercises, quizzes, and a final exam will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment in mHero Technology.
After April’s sessions virtual course, all of the material will be adapted for future participants for self-paced learning for the remainder of the project, until June 6. The continuing online course will feature discussion forums and chat so the larger mHero community can support those new to the system.
To sign up for the course, contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name, email address, location and job title. Please also indicate which track you’d like to join:
- Stakeholders (decision makers),
- system administrators (developers and ICT support staff), and
- mHero users (mHero team members involved in the day-to-day of mHero implementation).