Empowering nurses in the DRC with online training

WONDER has built the first digital platform for the remote training of nurses, to help transform healthcare in the DRC. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic taught the world many valuable lessons about healthcare, community, and the direction of our society; however, two of the most important takeaways are the importance of educated healthcare professionals and the value of remote learning. At WONDER, we have launched a new platform to educate female nurses remotely online. 

Healthcare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The DRC is in desperate need of well-trained healthcare professionals. Even before COVID, the DRC had an extremely inadequate healthcare system. The most recent Human Development Report gave the country a human development index of 0.423, ranking it 176th of 188 countries and placing it in the bottom 10% for development.

Citizens of the DRC face chronic malnutrition, an extremely high maternal mortality rate, a high rate of AIDS/HIV, and a severely underfunded healthcare system. Government spending on health care in the country only adds up to roughly $6-7 per year per capita. The DRC is positioned to make little to no progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations regarding healthcare and sanitation. To more effectively tackle SDG3 and SDG6, respectively Good Health and Well-Being and Clean Water and Sanitation, rapid action needs to be taken to educate and train healthcare professionals. Clearly, nurses in the DRC are fighting an uphill battle.

The value of the digital nursing platform

To aid in the fight for better healthcare and health education, WONDER has launched a digital nursing platform in collaboration with our partner, ISSI. There is a shortage of trained nurses in the DRC, and as a result the standards for professional healthcare training are lower than in other parts of the world. Investing in the proper training of nurses is critical. Well-informed and trained nurses can spread their information about hygiene and healthcare to the rest of their communities, thus addressing misinformation to avert the spread of disease and improve wellbeing. This is important in any community, but particularly in the DRC where a high percentage of the population has not finished school.

Without a proper education, it is difficult for everyday people to understand critical health and hygiene issues. Therefore, training nurses and midwives to the highest possible standards helps to raise healthcare standards and education around the country. Empowered nursing students gain the tools necessary to act as leaders of change within their local healthcare settings, inspiring larger scale healthcare innovation.

WONDER’s work so far

To address this critical need in the DRC, WONDER has helped fund the first digital platform for remote nursing training. The program began in 2021 and intends to reach 1,200 nurses over the next three years, contributing to better healthcare services for 120,400 patients. Available courses include: ‘emerging diseases,’ ‘patient treatment,’ ‘hospital hygiene,’ ‘stress control in the health crisis,’ ‘emergency nursing management in a crisis situation,’ and ‘fundamentals of resucitative care.’ The program is rapidly growing, so hopefully it will reach many more people than projected.

Author: Sarah Finkel

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