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Developing specialist asthma care training in Tanzania through online learning

8 November 2023


In sub-Saharan Africa, asthma is the most common chronic condition in adolescents, with prevalence between 10% and 32%. A 2021 review of asthma in sub-Saharan Africa identified a lack of diagnosis and treatment, limited access to medication, lack of available diagnostic tests, lack of local guidelines, and a need to educate and train local community-based health care providers.  

THET, with the support of Queen Mary University of London and Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Centre has developed a pioneering specialist asthma care online training course support healthcare workers at Tanzanian healthcare centres. 

The online course can be worked through independently by healthcare workers which breaks down numerous barriers to the workforce including geographical limitations, workplace capacity and ongoing training and development.  

The programme utilises THET’s Pulse e-Learning platform which has already delivered several sustainable training programs across low-resource settings, training hundreds of health workers across numerous countries. The platform is built upon the Principles of Digital Development to ensure sustainability and accessibility to underserved populations to bridge the digital divide.  

Features such as offline capability and low bandwidth optimisation support accessible and inclusive learning to under-served communities. The platform is also part of the Digital Public Goods portfolio which is a recognised solution in international development toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  


The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and political upheaval in fragile states has transformed THET’s attitudes toward health worker training, resulting in the adoption of a new digital transformation strategy in the organisation to support virtual programme delivery.  

The implementation of new technologies such as Learning Management Systems (LMS) play a crucial role in training healthcare workers. LMS can deliver standardised and up-to-date content, reducing the need for continuous travel to train new cohorts of learners. Furthermore, these tools can be accessed remotely, allowing healthcare workers to learn at their own pace and convenience, which is particularly valuable in regions with limited access or travel to training facilities.  

Additionally, LMS can provide continuous learning opportunities which can be transferred across borders, promoting ongoing professional development for a wider range of healthcare workers, ultimately leading to improved patient care and health outcomes. Moreover, these systems can effectively collect a high quality of data, allowing for greater monitoring of the effectiveness of training programs.  

Our aim is to ensure the effective use of technologies within both THET’s work and across Health Partnerships as we strive towards our goal of Universal Health Coverage. You can read more about our Digital Transformation strategy here.  

This post was written by:

Ciaran Barbour - Digital Transformation Coordinator, THET


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