At the end of May, more than 200 midwifery students of the Haramaya University and Gondar University in Ethiopia started their e-learning journey to enhance their skills and knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and rights, a topic closely related to their midwifery profession, but often rarely touched upon within their university curriculum.
Hence, the Ethiopian Midwives Association and Health[e]Foundation – Global Health department of Amsterdam UMC and multiple Ethiopian universities, such as Haramaya University and Gondar University, implemented this blended-learning in the curriculum of the 4th year midwifery students.
The blended-learning program consists of a variety of topics which have been selected following extensive needs assessments with the collaborating Universities and Ministries. Besides theoretical modules on gender-equality; gender-based violence; women’s empowerment; and female genital mutilation, skills building modules are also offered to students. Students are enriched with practical guidance on life skills; how to reach adolescents in their work; and how to communicate and facilitate sessions with their target groups. A specific request was to add modules on research skills, entrepreneurship and on providing essential reproductive health services during crises. The latter is all the more important as the conflict in the Tigray region, which started at the end of 2020, led to many displaced people and a high demand for trained health professionals to provide emergency reproductive health services in the region.
Last week, yet another group of more than 100 midwifery students of the Gondar University started this blended-learning training. Since Gondar borders the Tigray region, it is expected that many of these graduating midwives will be able to put their newly acquired knowledge and skills directly into practise. As one of the former graduating midwifery students from Gondar University, Eyerusalem Shello mentioned:
The e-learning for midwifery nurses was especially useful for those working in remote areas where gender based violence and sexual related diseases are abundant, this course taught me how to support these women.
We are grateful to be able to provide this program to the Ethiopian midwifery students, thanks to the generous support of the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Program who funds this two-year programme.