People across Africa are suffering and dying because they can't get access to a doctor when they need one. The Open University teaching model can help solve the chronic shortage of doctors.
In Ethiopia, a population of 84 million is served by only 1800 doctors, most in private practice. Now the Ethiopian Ministry of Health is working with Professors Janet Grant and Mike Stewart to develop a medical curriculum supported by distance-learning. This has the potential to massively scale up the numbers of doctors being trained and much less cost than traditional medical training.
A Distance Learning Medical Centre has been established at St Paul’s Millennium Medical School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is already running an innovative curriculum, which includes practical clinical training based at the medical school, as well as attachments in rural and community centres. This is combined with study through learning materials and resources produced on The Open University model.
Students will learn using printed materials and exercises, peer-reviewed web-based materials, interactive DVDs and CDs and videos of lectures and demonstrations, supported by work in small groups and individual exercises. The resources can be used in the classroom, and outside in remote areas where student doctors go to complete their training. The Distance Learning Medical Centre will produce resources for both medical students and teachers.