Establishing a Sustainable Platform for Knowledge Sharing among African Health Practitioners

How do we fight a pandemic we know little about? As member countries were battling the first wave of COVID-19 cases in early 2020, it became apparent that the knowledge gap, especially among least developed countries, would determine the countries capacities to prepare and respond to the pandemic. Some of what we thought we knew a week ago has changed, some of it has evolved, some is still unclear. 

ITFC, under the umbrella of an IsDB-led e-learning program, has attempted to navigate through these uncertainties by bringing health practitioners together to exchange experiences and learn from each other. Indeed, ITFC has been a key financial partner of the Electronic -learning platform to facilitate peer learning and knowledge sharing between medical staff in member countries on “preparing and responding to COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Since its launch on 25 April 2020, the Platform has been offering awareness sessions and targeted training webinars in French and English languages to the African countries and facilitating the sharing of medical protocols and guidelines. Until today, the IsDB and its partners organized nine activities through this Platform: seven related to health related-issues, one on women entrepreneurship, and one on the challenges and opportunities facing South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

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Key features

Timeliness and relevance. The first webinars were conducted in April 2020. At that time, organizing webinars, especially in certain African countries, was challenging and innovative. The webinars were responding to a key need from beneficiaries.  

Group synergy. The program is a concrete illustration of group collaboration. ITFC partnered with IsDB and provided financial support to the first three webinars' implementation. 

South-South approach. The intervention fosters South-South cooperation by showcasing successful home-grown solutions in IsDB member countries to fight the COVID-19, which can be shared within IsDB membership and outside.

Key achievements

In total, nine webinars were organized viewed by 17,500 persons, including more than 6,000 medical and paramedical attendees from 25 African member countries.
Around 120 speakers from 35 countries (member and non-member countries) had the opportunity to share knowledge, best practices and expertise. 
As one of the many achievements of this platform, bilateral partnerships were initiated, such as an online certified training program on COVID-19 patient management between Morocco and Mauritania.

Perception survey results

100% of surveyed participants found the platform very useful or useful. For 100% of surveyed participants, the platform was very successful or successful for knowledge sharing. 78% of surveyed participants found the platform very successful or successful in establishing networks and fostering collaboration.