E-learning on sexual and reproductive health and rights
The SRHR[e]Education course focuses on training midwifery students to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services within their communities. The e-learning program provides learners with relevant information, as well as enhances their skills to perform outreach activities for adolescents and young people. The goal is to help midwives to offer high quality, integrated SRHR services that can be accessed and used on an equitable basis. This contributes to the reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, and improving of youth sexual and reproductive health.
‘Midwives have a unique position in society to promote SRHR and gender equality amongst fellow students, adolescents and their future clientele.’
Training midwifery students
This course has been developed by Health[e]Foundation for Ethiopian midwifery students in cooperation with the Ethiopian Midwives Association, several collaborating universities and the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. It provides midwifery students with the knowledge, skills and capacity that they need to promote SRHR and gender equality to their clients, peers and community members. The training includes modules on sexual and gender-based violence (GBV); female genital mutilation; facilitation and communication skills; and how to reach out to adolescents. In addition to the content, students are equipped with a package of activities which enables them to transfer their newly acquired knowledge to others.
“During my studies I did my internship at the university hospital and I provided services to women. Mainly, I advised them on sexual crimes, gender-based violence and domestic violence – things I learnt about the course – topics which my clients didn’t feel comfortable talking about before. I spoke privately with them about their experience of GBV. I talked to them about the different methods of family planning, which they discussed later with their husbands. I was able to change the minds of some of my clients, especially about family planning methods and domestic violence.”
EY (F), student at Gondar University
Modules and focus areas
The e-learning program consists of 9 modules focusing on SRHR and gender equality.
The e-learning program contains globally accepted, evidence-based information and guidelines. The information and guidelines are reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate for the country where the e-learning program is offered. Adaptations to the content that was provided by the original authors are made by local experts.
Implementation and impact in Ethiopia
The SRHR[e]Education blended learning program is being implemented in Ethiopia in 2019-2022. More than 400 midwifery students have already taken part in the training and have applied their acquired knowledge and skills in their daily practice within Ethiopian communities, reaching more than 4,000 clients, peers and community members with comprehensive SRHR information and services. Results from a digital survey and phone interviews show that the training has positively influenced the minds of young midwifery students across Ethiopia, while also indirectly reaching members in the community, including adolescents. In the future, this blended learning program can be customized and implemented in other countries in need of investments in SRHR and gender training.