eLearning – prepare yourself to count malaria out

In order to count malaria out we need to learn as much as possible about the design and management of malaria control programs, especially setting up a functional monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system from which health workers, program managers and policy makers can learn and then plan improvements.

intro-w-logo-sm.jpgUSAID’s Global Health eLearning Center is a great free online resource for agency staff and health team members to learn about maternal and child health issues, including malaria. Registration is free, and the format does not require much bandwidth, so should be more accessible to learners in developing countries.  As of World Malaria Day – 25 April 2009 – the 29th course will be added to the curriculum, that is a six-module learning activity on malaria in pregnancy (MIP) developed by Jhpiego.  This compliments the existing general malaria course available on the site.

Global Health eLearning was originally designed to help update the knowledge of USAID health, population and nutrition staff. The website now has over 30,000 registered learners, and 80% of those are not directly affiliated with USAID. This means that the courses are filling a continuing education need for a wide variety of people.  Eventually there may be up to 50 courses, which may be organized into focused learning packages.

Another useful free eLearning site is he Open Course Ware (OCW) program of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lecture materials from approximately 80 of the School’s courses is available consisting of slides, handouts and other resources.  The course on Malariology

Presents issues related to malaria as a major public health problem. Emphasizes the biology of malaria parasites and factors affecting their transmission to humans by anopheline vectors. Topics include host-parasite-vector relationships; diagnostics; parasite biology; vector biology; epidemiology; host immunity; risk factors associated with infection, human behavior, chemotherapy, and drug resistances; anti-vector measures; vaccine development; and management and policy issues.

Jhpiego has a Malaria in Pregnancy Resource Package (MRP) online.  The MRP contains all the materials needed to conduct training on malaria in pregnancy including a facilitator’s guide, sample slides, a brief tutorial, job aids and other reference documents. The training materials emphasize the M&E component of MIP service delivery.

Another key online learning resource is the Roll Back Malaria Toolbox. One can download a number of reference materials for planning and implementing M&E components to all aspects of malaria control services.

There is no excuse not to keep up-to-date on malaria control with all the free eLearning materials available online. Please share with us additional sources and links that foster eLearning on malaria.

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