Case Study: Developing Health Systems Resources

e-Learning to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality, Novartis


The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD) supported the World Health Organization (WHO) in developing an e-learning tool to improve health care for children and reduce mortality rates of children younger than five. The tool, ICATT (IMCI Computerized Adaptation and Training Tool), helps scale up training in IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) and can be easily adapted to country-specific features, such as treatment guidelines, enabling faster adoption of IMCI in a cost-effective manner.

ICATT is being rolled out globally through the WHO. NFSD applied what it learned from ICATT in working with WHO and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute to develop an e-learning tool for maternal and neonatal care, IMPACtt (Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth training tool).

Lessons Learned?

  • ICATT has been tested in Tanzania, Peru, and Indonesia, with pilots showing that it requires less training time, with positive effects on training outcomes and is more cost-effective than traditional IMCI training, which can facilitate the scaling up of training in IMCI.
  • In field tests for IMPACtt, lack of or limited computer skills and/or English language skills were the primary difficulties in using the tool. To overcome language barriers, the tool eventually needs to be translated into other languages, as was done for ICATT, to improve access and usability.
  • Participants and facilitators equally stressed the value of the tool’s audiovisual material and expressed a wish to have more such material available.
  • The results of the field-testing related to the content and functionalities of IMPACtt are being implemented.

Results to date?

  • WHO estimates that 12 countries have completed adaptation through ICATT: Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
  • In 2012–2013, for the first time ICATT was integrated as a preservice training for health professionals in Tanzania.
  • The first module of IMPACtt on essential newborn care was successfully tested in Tanzania in 2012 and the Philippines in 2013.
  • Other modules on prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care are under development; the prenatal care module will be tested in 2014.

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