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the role of technology in the teaching of pharmacology in africa and the developing world

Please note that some graphics and slides were excluded in this reduced version

The Role of Technologyin the Teaching of Pharmacology in Africa and the Developing World

Christiaan B Brink1 & Douglas W Oliver21Division of Pharmacology, 2School of Pharmacy,Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa

for presentation at theSatellite Meeting - Pharmacological Teaching: Facing New Challenge15th World Congress of Pharmacology (IUPHAR 2006)

E-mail: fklcbb@puk.ac.za

table of contents
Table of Contents
  • The Needs of Africa
    • Education & Infrastructure
    • Health Care
    • NEPAD, WHO, ICSU and other initiatives
  • Examples & Trends
    • Legislation & guidelines
    • Trends
  • Survey
  • Recommendations
    • Suggestions
    • ‘Pharmacology for African Initiative’
    • Critical Factors
needs of africa infrastructure
Needs of Africa: Infrastructure
  • BBC News 2006 + public comments(15 Mar 2006, accessed 29 Mar 2006 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4787422.stm)
    • Poor infrastructure – new cables planned (East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy))
    • Monopolies - high cost & low access
    • Sometimes low need (PC illiterate)
  • SAIDE Newsletter 2006(2006, vol 12(2), accessed 11 Apr 2006 - http://www.saide.org.za/resources/newsletters/vol_12_no.2_2006/Content/SSA%20Teacher%20Connectivity.htm)
    • Barriers for access
      • limited infrastructure
      • lack of competent manpower
      • high cost of hardware, software and connectivity
      • lack of awareness of appropriate use of technology
      • apathy towards use of technology in education
    • Mobile connections = 2x land lines
    • Recommendations
      • PC clusters & PC labs
      • CD ROMs
      • SMS & mobile phone alerts
examples trends
Examples & Trends
  • UNISA
    • TV broadcasting via satellite
    • Cell phone SMS
    • Future podcasting
  • North-West University
    • Web-based pharmacology programme
  • Trainerspod(www.trainerspod.com)
    • Target developing world
    • Videocasting, podcasting, blogging & Webcasting
    • Pedagogic & technological support
    • Based in Canada, USA & UK
unexpected leaps
Unexpected ‘Leaps’

“The mobile phone market in Africa can be amusing if one takes a good look. One might have an initial thinking that Africans would have little or no use for cutting-edge technology. This is however not the case ... Nigeria, where number of subscribers double every year and currently stands at about 10 million (March 2005).“(Mobile Africa, Wednesday, 17 May 2006, http://www.mobileafrica.net/technologies.php)

africa utilize pdas
Africa utilize PDAs

“In areas with struggling infrastructures, no landline telephones, and sometimes not even electricity, healthcare workers have had no access to up-to-date, relevant, and accurate health information … handheld computers are being utilized to deliver life-saving information to the doctors, nurses, and public health officials who need it most.”(PDA Cortex, Watertown, MA - August 2005, http://www.rnpalm.com/pdas_rural_africa_asia.htm)

needs of africa health
Needs of Africa: Health

“Funds alone will be insufficient ... incentives such as accelerated training, support, and supervision, are crucial … The main duty of the international community is to create the conditions that will allow Africa to develop and flourish.”BMJ 2005;331:755–8

nepad who icsu
NEPAD, WHO & ICSU
  • New Partnership for Africa's Development
    • integrated socio-economic development framework
    • health as 1 of 5 priority areas
    • “promote technology to establish regional distance learning and health education programmes to improve the situation in the health sector”
  • World Health Organization
    • collaboration of countries
    • efforts for Millennium Development Goals
  • International Council for Science
    • ICSU Regional Office for Africa
survey scope aims
Survey: Scope & Aims
  • Scope: A small pilot survey (exploratory only)
  • Aims:
    • Investigate the utilization of technology in the teaching of pharmacology in:
      • South Africa
      • the rest of Africa
      • other developing countries
    • Determine needs, as expressed
survey method

South Africa14

Other Develop+9

Africa+15

=38

Survey: Method
  • Build database
    • Pharmacol. Learning Instit.
  • Questionnaires 1 & 2
    • Design questionnaires as a Web forms
    • E-mail participants with request + link
    • Retrieve & process feedback
    • Fax non-responders
survey response rates
Survey: Response Rates
  • Questionnaire 1
    • South Africa (12 – 86%)
    • Rest of Africa (2 – 13%)
    • Other Developing Countries (6 – 67%)
  • Questionnaire 2
    • South Africa (4 – 29%)
    • Rest of Africa (1 – 7%)
    • Other Developing Countries (1 – 11%)
comments from respondents
Comments from Respondents
  • Obstacles
    • High cost to implement e-learning
    • Lack of resources & student access (x2)
questionnaire 1 findings
Questionnaire 1: Findings
  • South Africa & Other Developing Countries
    • General use of all technologies
    • Most still express a need for assistance
  • Rest of Africa
    • Two respondents use MSPowerPoint® only (i.e. no CAL, Web, internet or other technology)
    • Low response rate suggests a general trend
questionnaire 2 findings
Questionnaire 2: Findings
  • Useful technology
    • Internet applications regarded most important
    • Wireless connection regarded important
  • Obstacles
    • Facilities/infrastructure & availability of resources regarded most important
suggestions
Suggestions

For targeting Africa future educational software (for learning in pharmacology) should also include 3G-satellite hybrid wireless technology

Currently communication in Africafor education-related notices may be more successful using cell/mobile phone SMS

pharmacology for africa initiative
‘Pharmacology for Africa Initiative’
  • Brainstorm Meetings 2006
    • Strategic planning
    • Key role players
  • Organizing Meetings 2007-8
    • Establish interim forum – link with IUPHAR
    • Improve forum organization & communication
    • Assist with local organization
  • 1st African Regional Meeting 2009
    • Inauguration
    • Establish educational & research needs
    • Presentations & networking
  • 2nd African Regional Meeting 2012

Stimulating environment

Infrastructure

Funding

critical factors to be addressed in africa

Stimulating Environment

  • Break the isolation
  • Create a culture of learning/research(incentives & obstacles)
  • Infrastructure
  • Establish
    • communication
    • information
    • class facilities
    • learner access
  • Support

Funding

Critical Factors to be Addressed in Africa

1

2

A very real challenge!

3