The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every country in the world. All our partner countries are struggling with the virus and how to tackle the problems it poses. In the health care sector, as in so many other places, people are now turning to online opportunities to keep vital education going in these times of social distancing and lockdowns. Therefore, when Prof Tom Potokar got the request from the Kathmandu Medical College in Nepal for their students to use the online Essential Burn Care course, he enthusiastically agreed. Now, 65 medical students have been able to continue their training in burn care.
Normally this training is given face-to-face to include burn care into the curriculum for students. Thankfully, through our NIHR funding, our partner Interburns created a digital version of the Essential Burn Care course. This is available for free on the Interburns website, and has presented a fantastic opportunity for this group of 65 medical students to keep a critical part of their curriculum.
The work to create the Essential Burn Care training online was done in the context of research into most appropriate digital ways to train health care professionals in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Funded by the NIHR Global Health grant via the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research, this study considered the technologies available, the digital communication channels people were comfortable using, and practicalities like ownership of computers and internet connection.
Interburns and the Centre hope to add further online courses in the future. If they are designed well, they are an effective way to reach many more LMIC health care professionals than otherwise possible. We are glad to see this group of Nepalese students benefitting from this course, and hope many will follow!