Advantages of Virtual Technical and Skills Training Courses on Malaria During COVID-19 in Myanmar

Aung K. Zaw et al. share in a poster their experiences with malaria and COVID-19 in Myanmar through the Defeat Malaria USAID/PMI Project. This can be found at the website of the 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Which is virtual. Their presentation is see below.

The President’s Malaria Initiative-supported Defeat Malaria Project aims to enhance the technical and operational capacity of the NMCP and health care providers in four States/Regions of Myanmar between 2016-2021. The project designed a capacity development strategy for staff and the NMCP using cascade training.

Master mentors (MM) from new Regions of the project were trained November/December 2019 who will train a cadre of general trainers (GT) at district and township level. Then GT will conduct onsite courses for integrated community malaria volunteers (ICMV).

However, due to the current COVID-19 situation travel and movement restrictions are in place. The project shifted from classroom-based to virtual training via Zoom for a 5-day training of GT and to develop 11 GT on malaria and other ICMV-managed diseases and training skills.

Participatory classroom training methodology was used for virtual training, including knowledge update and skills and attitudes development. Pre and post-training knowledge assessments and skills assessments were carried out to measure knowledge improvement. Daily and end course evaluations were done to gauge participants’ perception of virtual training. 64% of participants passed (score ?80%) the pre-training knowledge assessment, and 100% achieved ?80% on the post-training assessment.

Training skills (facilitation and demonstration of skills) were assessed using checklists during practice with RDTs and all participants passed. Coaching skills could not be assessed in this virtual training. Daily evaluation results showed that participants’ expectations and objectives were met. 75% stated that they felt more confident in planning and conducting a training course.

According to the final evaluation, 83% of participants felt positive about the virtual training methodology. On the other hand, 17% noted occasional difficulty hearing due to unstable internet connections. From a logistics and cost standpoint, it is feasible to continue the use of the virtual training platform for technical and training skills courses at the township level.

Authors and Affiliations

Aung K. Zaw(1), May Khin(1), Thiha Soe(1), Khin Zin(1), Ni Ni Aye(1), May Aung Lin(2), Thin Chit(2), Naung Naung(2), Paing Lin(2), Soe Tun(2), Wai Paing(2), Arkar Thant(2) – 1.Jhpiego, Myanmar/PMI Defeat Malaria, Yangon, Myanmar, 2.University Research Co., Myanmar/PMI Defeat Malaria, Yangon, Myanmar

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