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University of London commences work with six African states to help improve children’s health


Dr John Tole, President, ECSAPACH (second right) with colleagues at the Kenya Paediatric Association annual conference in Mombasa in 2023

Children across countries in Africa are set to benefit as the University of London signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the East Central and Southern Africa College of Paediatrics and Child Health (ECSAPACH) to support the development, design and delivery of blended training for doctors in child health care.

Under the terms of the MoU, leading child health specialists and clinical educators from six African states will benefit from sharing knowledge with each other, and with experts in the University of London’s Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE). 

There will be several phases to the project, which is aimed at supporting the development of high quality and appropriately contextualised blended learning provision for medical staff across the region. CODE will support ECSAPACH through a range of activities including:  

  • Facilitated discussions; 
  • A three-day workshop in London;  
  • Engagement with needs and capacity analyses and planning;  
  • An online staff development and capacity building course supporting the ongoing monitoring, evaluation and improvement planning of training for medical staff in child health care. 

The medical training course will launch in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and it is anticipated that other member states will join in due course. 

Dr John Tole, President, ECSAPACH said: 

"The future of nations hinges upon the well-being of their youth, underscoring the imperative of ensuring they receive an optimal foundation in life. As paediatricians, we hold the power to enhance the prospects of every child's future by consistently improving healthcare access for them and their families. Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm that the ECSAPACH Faculty and Fellows anticipate participation in a project that will expand our knowledge and information resources. This initiative will enable us to educate doctors across Africa, right within the very hospitals where they are already providing care, through online and distance learning methods." 

Dr Linda Amrane-Cooper, Director of the Centre for Online and Distance Education said: 

“ECSAPACH performs an essential role across East Central and Southern Africa, and it’s a privilege for the University of London to be able to contribute to a project which enables the sharing and improving of knowledge among doctors and health professionals in the region.”