Peoples Open Access Education Content

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< Peoples_Open_Access_Education_Initiative

Content outline and modules will come here.

To start the process of content development, here is a possible template.

Public Health problem to be solved

Education need for capacity to help solve problem

Competence to be achieved

Open Educational Resource to meet competence

Discussion points to work through resource (to guide tutors)

Possible assessment tool

Course 1: Maternal mortality

Maternal Mortality

Note: This is now being translated for course delivery through Moodle: you can see a draft of this at Cawdnet Campus.

Taking the example of maternal mortality as the public health problem to be solved, lets identify the competencies we would require of a graduate health professional wishing to study this at the Masters level (as part of a 'train the trainers' initiative).


A small group of us have been working on a set of competences that might be suitable. We have mapped these against the competences used in the Public Health Agency of Canada Skills Enhancement Programme:

  • Public health sciences
  • Socio-cultural
  • Assessment & analysis
  • Communication
  • Policy development & program planning
  • Leadership
  • Partnership, collaboration & advocacy

Each of these will have to be considered in the light of relevance to developing countries rather than Canada, but they are a great start.

We have identified 5 competences (and they map against the Canadian competences), that could fit into a 10-week course that discusses each competence over a two-week period.

  • 1. Be able to describe the magnitude of the health problem (maternal mortality) for your local, national and global populations
  • 2. Be able to present descriptive data on a health problem from a local setting in a graphical form
  • 3. Be able to understand how personal and environmental factors are related to the causes of disease
  • 4. Be able to identify potential evidence based solutions to reduce the burden of illness
  • 5. Be able to identify policy based solutions that can be implemented

There are many other competences that a health professional would require to deal with the Public Health problems of Maternal Mortality, and these would be covered in other parts of the course.

We can now look at the on-line resources which might be suitable to help meet these competences:


For each of the competencesidentified above, here are some resources that migh be suitable. See below the list for the links to them

  • 1. MM1 MM2 MM5 MM7
  • 2. MM4 MM6
  • 3. MM8 MM13 MM14
  • 4. MM9 MM15
  • 5. MM3 MM10 MM11 MM12

MM1 – MM3: Open courseware from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health:

MM4 – MM6: Lectures from the Epidemiology Supercourse:

MM7: Free on-line textbook from the British Medical journal

MM8 – MM12 : Lancet Series on Maternal Survival [note: permission to be sought for free access to full-text]

  • MM8 C Ronsmans and WJ Graham, Maternal mortality: who, when, where and when, Lancet (2006)DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69380-X. [1]
  • MM9 OMR Campbell and WJ Graham, Strategies for reducing maternal mortality: getting on with what works, Lancet (2006)DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69381-1. [2]
  • MM10 M Koblinsky, Z Matthews and J Hussein et al., Going to scale with professional skilled care, Lancet (2006) DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69382-3. [3]
  • MM11 J Borghi, T Ensor, A Somanathan, C Lissner and A Mills, Mobilising financial resources for maternal health. Lancet (2006) DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69383-5.[4]
  • MM12 V Filippi, C Ronsmans and OMR Campbell et al., Maternal health in poor countries: the broader context and a call for action, Lancet 368 (2006), pp. 1535–1541.DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69384-7 [5]

MM13 – MM 15: Various other sources:

  • MM13 WHO analysis of causes of maternal death: a systematic review.

Lancet. 2006 Apr 1;367(9516):1066-74. Review. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68397-9 [note: permission to be sought for free access to full-text]

Some other web sites might also help:

So the next step will be to identify disucssion tipics that can help the student work with the resources to meet the compatences

Topics for facilitated Discussion

Let's assume that we will try to meet the 5 identified competences through the various on-line resources we have found, and that the education context around this will be covered in five two-weekly discussions (one competence each two weeks) to be led by a facilitator on a Moodle web site. We need to identify some questions to start each discussion.

Weeks 1&2.

  • What is the best way of describing the burden of illness of maternal mortality in your local and national populations?
  • How accurate are these data likely to be?
  • Can you get hold of local data for a population relevant to you?

Weeks 3&4.

  • Please share your presentation about maternal mortality on the Discussion board and comment on the presentations from others

Weeks 5&6.

  • What do you know about the major causes of maternal mortality and their distribution by time, place and person?

Weeks 7&8.

  • What is the most useful source you have found for evidence on reducing maternal mortality?
  • Are any of the identified solutions feasible in your setting?

Weeks 9&10.

  • What are the structural and functional mechanisms to implement potential solutions in your setting?

Assessment and further comments

The outline above will be relatively easy to translate to some form of assessment, and this would be a natural next step.

Please feel free to edit this, make suggestions, and add resources.