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REaCH training for health workers in Remote Consulting

In the face of COVID19 health workers can protect their own health and the health of their patients by providing health care remotely where this is safe for the patient.

In low resource settings in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia health workers own a smart phone but other equipment for digital communication is rare. This 14-hour training enables health workers to confidently deliver healthcare to their patients using their own smart phone and integrate this digital delivery with their existing health care system.

The digitally delivered blended training uses train-the-trainer approach: nurses/medical officers/doctors are trained via their smart phones using an app and social media; other cadres of health worker including community health workers are trained using their feature phones and available social media.

The training is availble online in Moodle, the worlds most popular learning management system, and can be accessed on line or via a smart phone app. A sample presentation of the materials can be found hereLink opens in a new window and a PDF version is available here.Link opens in a new window

The training materials are free to use subject to licence. Before accessing the training materials you will be asked to provide information about your organisation and the use you might make of the training materials. You will be asked to read and agree to a free licence.

The training has been developed by a team from St Francis College of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania, Warwick Medical School UK, and King’s College London, UK. The training is free to use subject to licence.

If you would like to discuss delivery of the training by one of the organisations who developed it please get in touch.

The team is working on solutions to provide air-time for health workers using their own smart phones.

For enquiries please contact


‘’Actually, this is my first time to engage in online training, but I have enjoyed a lot. Previously I didn’t appreciate in making remote consultation by using digital devices but now I have appreciated that it can be done. Actually, this will assist patients who live in rural areas to get consultation and be diagnosed in easy way’’.

(TOT1 – 6 - TZ), Dr. Sabina Mwanga, (21 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’Through REaCH training we have understood that it is possible to offer the service distantly, it is not necessary to make face to face consultations in all problems. It is very possible to advice a patient distantly, the only problem is on mobile network coverage in some rural areas’’. 

(TOT1 – 6 - TZ), Dr. Sabina Mwanga, (21 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’I have adopted some changes after the training. Currently I use the mobile phone to advice the patients with shameful diseases like gonorrhea. You know, the patient can tell you deeply through the mobile communication than during face to face because of feeling shy’’.

(TOT1 – 4 - TZ), Dr. Stephano Liwemba, (19 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’You know, before attending this training I never trusted that we can be able to make remote consultations but after the training I am confident that it can be done in a very easy way. This consultation is very simple to both health workers and patients’’.

(TOT1 – 3 - TZ), Dr. Nathalia Mtolela, (22 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’This course has made me confident enough in assisting the remote clients. You know, previously I used to receive calls from remote clients want to be advised about their health condition but I wasn’t responding. I used to insist them to come at the hospital only, but after attending this training I have started to advise them distantly, before coming to the hospital’’.

(TOT1 – 3 - TZ), Dr. Nathalia Mtolela, (22 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’This means it would assist much during this time of COVID 19 spread because it avoids the chance for having physical interaction between the patients and doctors. You know, previously we had several doubts on how service payments may be done, ethical issues and privacy but after reading the modules we found that all those things had been covered. The modules shows about the ways to ensure medical ethics, who is going to pay and the way it has to be done. Therefore the doubts I had have been well clarified in these modules. That is what I leant from the modules!’’

(TOT1 – 6 - TZ), Dr. Sabina Mwanga, (21 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’Aaaah.., as I told you, currently I do the remote consultation in a professional way by making sure I ask for consent, ensuring privacy as well as keeping their records and making sure that I continue to make follow up on the patient progress . So from these modules I learnt a lot on how to make remote consultation in a smart way’’.

(TOT1 – 6 – TZ) Dr. Sabina Mwanga, (21 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

’This program has been very useful to me. You know, we have been making mobile consultations without understanding how to do it in a professional way. We were not considering the quality of the services when making mobile consultations but the notes we got from Moodle portal has instructed about considering privacy and asking the consent to a client, so far the modules insisted a lot about confidentiality and so on’’.

(TOT1 – 6 - TZ), Dr. Sabina Mwanga, (21 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

“COM_B cycle of behaviour tells a lot about my behaviour at the beginning of Moodle, I had what is called reflective motivation, but after reading the cycle I started getting the concept and now I am automatically motivated and I am ready for remote consultation service!!” 

(TOT1-1-TZ), Dr. Meleji Mollel, (20 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’I enjoyed this course, because I have discovered that through this, doctors will be receiving extra payments like what the lawyers do during league consultations. Just imagine, a lawyer makes charges whenever he stamps your documents, likewise the doctors should have such payment opportunity by offering services personally to remote clients. I discussed with my colleague and we have noted that this can give us the extra alternative to get money’’ 

(TOT1 – 4- TZ), Dr. Stephano Liwemba, (19 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

’Previously, I used to make remote consultations informal way. I was not punctual when discussing with the clients through the phone, but after attending this training I have l how to make remote consultation in a proper way. The modules have considering privacy and asking the consent to a client, and insisted about confidentiality…… We now take serious about this service than before attending the training…!’’ 

(TOT1 – 2 - TZ)’’, Mr. Erick Mbonde, (18 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

‘’’Remote consulting would assist much during COVID 19 because it reduces face to face interaction between patients and health care workers’’

(TOT1-1-TZ), Dr. Meleji Mollel, (20 August 2020), Ulanga Tanzania.

"As a medical student, soon graduating into a world of distance and isolation, I felt much better about the possibility of providing remote consulting after completing this training program. It also equipped me with useful tactics to empower others to take up remote consulting."

Andrew Downie (18 September 2020), Melbourne Australia.

Remote Consulting for Healthcare Programme

The REaCH training is part of our Remote Consulting for Healthcare Programme, which combines cutting-edged research with training and development of materials to support digital communication between healthcare providers and patients: in low- and middle-income countries and the UK.

The REaCH Trials: Nigeria and Tanzania

We are running two trials in contrasting country-settings with marginalised populations: rural/remote, low income populations in Tanzania in East Africa, and urban and peri-urban middle income populations in Nigeria in West Africa.

In these trials, we are exploring whether our training is effective in increasing remote consulting, whether it affects face to face consulting, and whether it changes patient reports of trustworthiness and changes specified indicators of the safety of healthcare consultations in primary healthcare.