How TulaSalud trained 5,000 healthcare workers in remote Guatemala using Moodle LMS

June 25, 2024 By Barnana Sarkar

TulaSalud is a Guatemalan non-governmental organisation collaborating with the Canadian Tula Foundation and other strategic partners. Its mission is to support the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala in enhancing healthcare access for the most underserved rural population. It focuses on efforts to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, malnutrition, and COVID-19.

Launched in 2004, the Public Health Improvement Program, facilitated by TulaSalud and leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), initially focused on training nursing assistants. Over the next eight years, it evolved into a Digital Health program, incorporating a communication system and epidemiological surveillance based on community-level technology and an integrated healthcare service network.

Challenges

As the project grew, it became clear that there was a need for a tool that would make it easier for participants to interact and access content, regardless of time or location boundaries. 

Collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala, TulaSalud sought a learning management system (LMS) that wouldn’t necessitate future licensing payments. This was crucial to transfer the TulaSalud experience and tools seamlessly to the Ministry, allowing them to manage the platform on their infrastructure.

Initially, TulaSalud operated its own Moodle LMS platform. However, with increasing demand, it became evident that additional support was required to enhance the platform. The organisation began seeking a Spanish-speaking service provider to meet its growing infrastructure and support needs.

Solution

TulaSalud opted for Moodle LMS because it perfectly fit their requirements, which included a platform limited by physical presence and office hours. This enabled health personnel in remote and hard-to-reach areas of Guatemala to receive training and access necessary content at their convenience without being dependent on in-person support. 

The organisation also recognised the importance of selecting an open-source LMS platform that wouldn’t incur licensing fees when transitioning to the Ministry of Public Health of Guatemala. The decision to choose Moodle was influenced by its status as the world’s most popular open-source platform. With 418 million users across 239 countries, worldwide support teams, and a thriving community of users and developers, Moodle offers a solid foundation. It supports over 160 languages and has over 2,000 open-source plugins that enhance its platform.

After choosing Moodle as the suitable LMS platform for their Digital Health program, TulaSalud knew they needed an ally that would allow them to meet the growth demands their training programs were experiencing. 

Therefore, after a market analysis, they decided to choose Moodle Premium Certified Service Provider, Edu Labs as a strategic partner. Edu Labs has been a valuable partner for TulaSalud’s virtual training projects, providing the flexibility and capability to easily accommodate increased technological resources and active users during peak training periods.

Noé Quiroa Coy, Technical Deputy Director of TulaSalud, states, “Edu Labs has always addressed our needs promptly to continue implementing improvements to our platform, such as installing plugins, updating our Moodle version, etc, all to ensure the necessary resources for the implementation and efficiency of our courses.”

Results

Currently, TulaSalud’s Digital Health program includes 102 sites for epidemiological analysis and ongoing remote training. Having an open-source platform like Moodle, customisable to project needs, and the support of Edu Labs as an efficient platform manager has led to tremendous results:

  • Over 5,000 healthcare professionals were trained in remote areas of Guatemala, allowing participants to organise searches, downloads, and ongoing tasks within the platform systematically.
  • Improvement in TulaSalud’s eLearning project, incorporating gamification for better visualisation of educational materials and assessment activities.
  • Enhancement of administrative processes by creating a database of graduates, establishing roles for each participant, and organising the entry of individuals or collaborators into processes.

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