IFGH 2012: Novel Approach for North-South Partnerships for Training & Capacity-Building Utilizing an Electronic Health Library (E-HL)

January 31, 2012

Authors:Shadad A.1, Elmusharaf K.1,2

Author Affiliations:1Department of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, 2Reproductive & ChildHealth Research Unit at University of Medical Sciences & Technology (Sudan)

Option 2– Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses. Presented as – Oral Presentation

Issues:

This abstract presents a novel approach for North-South partnerships in human resources for health capacity building through development of an E-HL. The northern partner in this model is Sudanese expatriate health professionals in UK and Ireland.

Description:

The partnership was initiated by the Sudan Medical Association UK and Ireland (SMA UK&I) and involves the Federal Ministry of Health, Sudan Medical Specialization Board, Academy of Health Sciences, the Public Health Institute, two Teaching Hospitals and Three Public Universities in Sudan.
The product of this partnership is an E-HL which provides free access to educational, training resources in different healthcare disciplines, acts as an interface for knowledge and experience exchange and a platform for distant learning and continuous health education. SMA UK&I pays subscriptions. This project was started in October 2011 and now in the phase of initiation and implementation.

Lessons learned:

The development of this partnership relied solely on personal communications of SMA UK&I members with their previous workmates and classmates in different institutions in Sudan. This helped to identify the potential stakeholders, funders and prioritise the educational resources and the target user groups.

Challenges:

The main technical challenge that faced the project and limited its expansion to most universities in Sudan was the lack of intranet infrastructure to securely access the E-HL.
The project was unable to purchase many educational and training resources of American origin due to the United States government sanctions on the Sudanese government.

Recommendation:

A customised leaning management system could be an effective tool for human resource capacity building in low resource countries.
Experience and knowledge transfer between North and South can be enhanced by improving IT literacy and infrastructure in Southern educational institutions.

Expatriates professionals in the North have great potential to establish partnerships between North and South.

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