Portable Mobile Learning System: A Rural Training Solution for Health Workers

Portable Mobile Learning System: A Rural Training Solution for Health Workers

The portable Mobile Learning System (MLS) trains midwives and health workers in remote low-resourced settings on key skills to combat the most prevalent causes of maternal and newborn mortality. It comprises of a Technology Kit (WiFi battery-operated palm-size portable projector, portable speakers, and a solar-charger kit) and comes pre-loaded with various interactive multi-media training modules on key midwifery life-saving skills that account for more than 90% of all maternal deaths. 

At a Glance

Innovations 0
Favorites 0


The goal of the portable Mobile Learning System (MLS) was to build a model for a full-scale, low-cost mobile learning (mLearning) system that can be used to train targeted segments of populations in low-resource settings throughout the world. The MLS objective was to conceptualize and pilot test a mLearning system in training healthcare workers, particularly midwives, at select health centers and training sites in Ethiopia and Tanzania. The pilot sites selected were in Ethiopia and Tanzania as these two countries have exceptionally high rates of maternal mortality at 353 and 398 deaths per 100,000 live births respectively (WHO 2015 report).
The beneficiaries of the project were midwives and other frontline workers in the primary health care system providing maternal and newborn health services and training intuitions that save as learning centers.The major expected outcomes of the pilot innovation project was to improve life-saving skills on key obstetric emergencies that result in maternal and newborn mortality using the portable MLS. The indicators to measure MLS use include: (1) tracking number of all trainings (midwifery and other) conducted using the portable MLS and (2) tracking number of midwives and other health workers trained using e-learning courses on portable MLS. 


The primary objective of the pilot implementation project was to build a model for a full-scale, low-cost portable Mobile Learning System that can be used for any kind of training in any setting - even rural and remote with few facilities. The MLS platform is vertically and horizontally scalable as it allows training for any type of user for any training material by seamlessly adapting to any type of training content. The MLS platform allows UNFPA to remotely publish updates to the existing courses as well as new training courses as when necessary directly onto the projectors. As the projector can be used as an Android tablet, it can allow the training sites to develop a presentation directly on the projector, update materials and even send feedback via emails when there is connectivity. This feature can also allow sites to quickly develop health care training materials in case of disasters and outbreak of disease. The MLS platform is slated to be used to deploy additional mobile training courses covering all thematic areas of UNFPA. These portable low-cost projectors allow for any blank white wall in any setting (remote or urban) to become a classroom, thus making MLS an innovative way to bring current multi-media training solutions  to health workers even in remote rural locations.