E-learning and research in Ethiopia

The first of October, the Pandemic[e]Response program came to an end after successfully achieving the project objectives. As part of the program, 120 pre-service and 230 in-service midwives in Ethiopia received a blended-learning training. One of the trainees is Teshome Kibret, living in the Amhara region in Ethiopia, who successfully completed the Pandemic[e]Response training for midwifery students. In this news item, Teshome explains the benefits of not only completing the e-learning course and gaining valuable skills for his future profession, but also how it made him grow in his personal life.

When starting the Pandemic[e]Response course in 2021, Teshome was in his third year of studies at the Debre Berhan University. Currently, he is two months away from graduating and soon starting his career in midwifery. Even though he had very different plans when he was younger, he decided to become a midwife.

The Pandemic[e]Response training program has been developed as a blended-learning program, combining physical workshops together with an e-learning course, enabling midwives to study the e-modules anytime and anywhere without being hindered by lockdowns or delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teshome joined the program in August 2021, as a participant in the face-to-face kick-off workshop in Debre Berhan,  following which he started studying the various e-modules at home during the university break.

During the e-learning period, he became responsible for encouraging and supporting his co-students. Most students in his mentoring group were from rural areas, just like himself. Nonetheless, he finished the course as the first student of his group. Thereafter, he encouraged all students from his group to do the same, even when they were facing challenges due to limited internet connection or lack of computer access. 100% of his group of students managed to complete the course which made him, and us, extremely proud.

During the follow-up workshop, Teshome and his fellow students got certified for completing the program. Teshome reflects on his experience:

‘I was so glad to be able to read all the modules. The content was nice and attractive which helped me during my study. Now I use it as a reference in many different circumstances.’‘

Research collaboration
As part of the Pandemic[e]Response program, after completion of the training, Teshome was invited to assist in collaborative research between Ethiopian and Dutch students to learn about the experiences of students and measure their satisfaction. Teshome explains that it was a great honor for him to join the research team and learn about doing research in an international setting. It was his first time participating in this capacity and it made him gain skills in different fields, such as doing research, collaboration and communication.

Teshome is grateful for being able to partake in both the Pandemic[e]Response training and the research collaboration. He feels that this program has motivated and encouraged health professionals to improve the health of the community. He ends by saying:  

I am dedicated to share all the knowledge and skills I gained from the program in my life, future work, and for the community.’

We thank Nuffic and Dioraphte for their generous support which enabled us to develop and implement this program in Ethiopia.

About the program
The Pandemic[e]Response program is funded by Nuffic -OKP (Orange Knowledge Program) and Dioraphte and is a collaboration between Health[e]Foundation, EMwA (Ethiopian Midwives Association) and the universities of Addis Ababa, Debre Birhan, Wolkite and Jimma. The program consists of an e-learning course and workshops for midwifery students providing knowledge and skills for continuation of essential maternal, neonatal and SRHR services during health emergencies.
Graduated students from Debre Birhan University