WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, mPowering Frontline Health Workers, a public-private partnership supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the launch of ORB, a comprehensive library of resources for training health workers across the globe. This is the first time ever a resource like this will be freely available in a single location, accessible through internet-enabled mobile devices. Working with partners, ORB has the potential to support 100,000 frontline health workers by 2017; health workers who are delivering services to more than 10 million women and children in USAID’s priority countries.
For most people in developing countries, frontline health workers are the first and only source of health care. If these health workers are effectively trained, we know there’s a positive impact on health outcomes for communities. Yet, many frontline health workers lack the training and support they need to provide simple services that could end the preventable deaths of millions of mothers and children every year.
Currently, many training organizations search for content via the Internet, which comes with no guarantee of quality. Others waste effort in creating training resources that already exist elsewhere, and many use print-based materials that are destined to reach limited numbers of health workers and are expensive to update. We know that health training resources are not routinely shared with the global health community.
At the same time, use of mobile devices continues to expand rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This means that, with access to mobile health content, frontline health workers, training institutions and ministries of health can engage in on-demand training and access critical job aids.
ORB, a name chosen for its simplicity and inclusiveness, responds to these opportunities in three ways:
- Provides high quality and mobile-friendly health content on a single platform.
- Encourages re-use and adaptation of these resources, so that training can reach
thousands of frontline health workers.
- Catalyzes a global network to share content for use by health workers, wherever they are in the world.
With over 200 resources, in 13 languages, ORB is attracting interest from leading content developers working in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. As more content continues to be added to the library, ORB will become a truly global resource for frontline health workers everywhere.
By combining easy-to-use, open source content which can be used online or offline by health workers ‘on-the-go’, ORB has the potential to radically enhance the quality and reach of the international health worker training effort. In turn, we will see more confident health workers, with the knowledge and skills they need to transform health outcomes for millions of women and children.
To learn more about ORB, visit http://www.health-orb.org
To learn more about USAID, visit www.usaid.gov.
About mPoweing Frontline Health Workers:
Frontline Health Workers vision is a trained and skilled health worker for every woman and child. We advocate for more effective training, supervision and support, using the power of mobile technologies to connect health workers to the information and job aids they need. mPowering was launched at the Call to Action and developed ORB to accelerate USAID’s work in ending preventable maternal and child deaths around the world. The mPowering members are Accenture Development Partnerships, Dalberg, Frontline Health Workers Coalition, Futures Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Maternal & Child Survival Program, MDG Health Alliance, New England International Donors, One Million CHW Campaign, Praekelt Foundation, Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ initiative, UNICEF, UN Foundation, USAID, Vodafone and World Vision.