Somaliland:Training Future Health Workers in Somaliland

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Somalilandsun: As we enter the final phase of Prepared for Practice, King’s Global Health Partnerships’ flagship project in Somaliland, which is strengthening the quality of undergraduate education for health professionals, we look back at some of the successes from the last 12 months.

1). Over 320 final year nursing, medical and midwifery students assessed and the first independently run, final year clinical examinations held.

Robust examination of medical, nursing and midwifery students are critical in controlling the quality of students entering the health system and protecting the public. In 2020, six Somaliland universities held final year clinical examinations for over 320 nursing, medical and midwifery students. This success builds on long-term support from King’s volunteers in developing clinical exam stations, standard setting, and exam management, and is the first time Somaliland universities have held clinical examinations without the support of King’s external examiners.

Somaliland Mental Health Undergraduate teaching

2). Two universities establish programmes for the professional development of health teaching staff. 

Amoud University and University of Hargeisa have established Educational Development Centres and started to deliver the postgraduate certificate in Health Professions Education which was introduced under the project. The centres will act as hubs for teaching staff to build their skills and expertise in areas such as pedagogy, learner-centred teaching, and curriculum development, which is critical to improving the quality of courses delivered at universities.

Somaliland HPE students

3). Launch of Somaliland’s first National Medical Curriculum. 

In September 2020 the Ministries of Education and Health Development approved the new National Medical Curriculum. This is the culmination of two years of collaboration between two volunteers from the University of Manchester and a wide group of stakeholders in Somaliland. The new curriculum will contribute to improved quality of medical education and producing graduates who are prepared for practice.

4). Online courses delivered to 320 students. 

Over the last year more than 50 volunteers have delivered 11 online courses to over 320 students. Courses have been run in clinical reasoning (surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics), nursing, midwifery, communication skills, radiology, neurology, mental health and basic research skills. We have seen excellent engagement in courses, with over 86% of students completing them.

Somaliland students computer room

5). Seventeen teaching staff complete Health Professions Education Masters course.

The first cohort of teaching staff to study the Health Professions Education masters course completed their studies in 2020. The course has developed skills on learner-centred teaching, curriculum development, assessment, leadership and research skills. Course graduates are now leading improvements to the quality of teaching in their institution, with many involved in policy development and delivering the certificate level programme to their colleagues.

Somaliland Health Professions Education Graduations

At the heart of all of this work are staff in Somaliland universities and over 70 volunteers from the NHS and UK universities who volunteer their time to deliver project activities. Thank-you to all of you! The project will come to a close in October so please look out for a series of impact reports we will be publishing over the coming months.

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