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Placing learning needs in context: distance learning for clinical officers in Tanzania

Brigley, Stephen, Hosein, I. K. and Myemba, I. 2009. Placing learning needs in context: distance learning for clinical officers in Tanzania. Medical Teacher 31 (4) , e169-e176.

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BACKROUND: Poor public health indicators in Tanzania have led to the upgrading of nursing and clinical personnel who currently have just core training. Clinical officers (COs) have 3 years training in basic and applied medicine and are responsible for healthcare of large and dispersed rural populations. AIMS: UNESCO-Wales has funded colleagues in Wales (UK) to assist the upgrade of COs. An inquiry into their learning needs and the Tanzanian context has produced a framework for design of a module for COs on sexually transmissible infections and HIV & AIDS by distance learning. METHODS: Face-to-face discussions were held with the Ministry of Health, healthcare workers, educators and administrators in Tanzania; a review of training documents was carried out; and a follow-up questionnaire issued to COs. RESULTS: The discussions and review highlighted teacher-centred approaches, and management, infrastructure and resources obstacles to curriculum change. Principal learning needs of COs around STIs were: counselling, syndromic management, drugs management, laboratory diagnosis, health education, resources, staffing and service morale. CONCLUSIONS: Placing learning needs in context in dialogue with Tanzanian colleagues was an advance on simple transfer of educational technologies and expertise. The inquiry resulted in a draft study guide and resources pack that were positively reviewed by Tanzanian tutors. Management and resources issues raised problems of sustainability in the module implementation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tanzania; United Nations; Questionnaires; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Public Health; Humans; Young Adult; Education, Distance
Publisher: Informa plc
ISSN: 0142-159X
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2017 11:01

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