Thursday, 3 September 2015

Dutch NGO offers free online courses for improving healthcare in developing countries

Dutch NGO offers free online courses for improving healthcare in developing countriesMore than 20 scholarships worth 450€ each will be awarded for those interested in increasing access to essential medicines. Around 2 billion people in the world do not have access to essential medicines and can die from preventable or treatable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Lack of education about the supply chain of medicines is one of the reasons behind the problem. “In many countries, the supply chain is flawed because healthcare staff simply does not have the know-how to forecast, quantify, buy and distribute the medicines”, says Luuk Jan Boon director of i+solutions, a Dutch NGO that offers trainings on this topic for the past 10 years. From September, i+solutions will be handing out 10,000€ worth of scholarships for those interested in following their online courses.

The website i+academy ( offers seven online courses in English and French about different aspects of the pharmaceutical supply chain. You can learn the basics of supply chain management in an introduction or dive into a specific part of the supply chain, such as procurement (buying medicines) or quality assurance (making sure that the medicines bought are safe and effective). Each one of the courses lasts for six weeks and costs 450€ . With the scholarship, you can follow the course of your choice for free.

“Our challenge is to make this kind of information accessible to as many people as possible”, says Boon. The first trainings developed by i+solutions were offered in Europe and thus required a fee of 2,000€, not counting the travel costs. Almost all participants were then sponsored by donor organizations. The NGO then decided to develop an e-learning platform, which reduced the costs significantly, but still might not be affordable for all. That is when the idea for a scholarship came about. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to participate”, he says. Read More..


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