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Journal Article

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Telemedicine and e-Health





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Background: Healthcare workers in Africa managing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients often receive inadequate HIV-specific medical education. The acceptability and feasibility of Web-based distance learning tools to enhance HIV training in Africa have not been extensively evaluated.

Materials and Methods: In this prospective observational study, we assessed the feasibility of Web-conferencing to deliver HIV-specific medical training to clinicians supporting HIV care and treatment across 12 Sub-Saharan African countries over a 10-month period. Webinar attendance, technical quality, and participant satisfaction were measured for each Webinar. Demographic details about participants were recorded.

Results: Attendance increased from 40 participants in Month 1 to over 160 in Month 10. Thirty-six percent of participants were physicians, and 21% were in allied health professions. A mean of 95% of respondents found the content to be relevant. Participants reported that the opportunity to interact with HIV clinicians from other countries and expert teaching from leading scientists were major reasons for attendance. Audio quality was variable across countries and over time. Barriers to attendance included lack of information technology (IT) literacy and Internet connectivity.

Conclusions: This analysis demonstrates that Webinars are feasible and acceptable to support HIV training. Significant impediments to scale up in use of Web-conferencing for HIV education in resource-limited settings include lack of IT hardware and limited IT literacy. Strengthening IT capacity and Internet infrastructure is necessary to support expanded use of Webinars as a tool for continuing HIV education.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is a copy of an article published in the Telemedicine and e-Health © 2012 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Telemedicine and e-Health is available online at:


Africa, human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, web-conferencing, webinar, IT



Date Posted: 18 November 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.