Taking Trachoma Elimination Online: MOOC Draws Thousands

Building on the success of the first-ever massive online course (MOOC) on trachoma elimination, The Task Force’s International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) and partners are now providing another opportunity for public health professionals to learn about strategies for eliminating the bacterial disease.

Nearly 2,800 public health professionals in 64 countries took part in the first MOOC “Eliminating Trachoma” last October. The course opened again in April to connect even more public health professionals with the latest resources.

The course offers a solution to a major obstacle in the effort to eliminate trachoma – keeping planners and implementers across multiple countries up-to-date on policy and best practices in a rapidly changing environment.

“The old practice of paper-based manuals and face-to-face training isn’t responsive enough to keep up with the latest guidelines and recommendations for trachoma elimination,” says ITI Director Paul Emerson, PhD.

The MOOC addresses this critical need as participants can learn and share information wherever they have access to the Internet.

Participants can take the course at their own pace. Modules include trachoma mapping and how to undertake a mass drug administration.

“This course is a critical tool in the global effort to eliminate the disease by 2020,” said Emerson. “We’re continuously updating material to ensure that our partners are armed with the latest information.”

The “Eliminating Trachoma” MOOC is led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

For more information or to sign up for a future course, visit https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/eliminating-trachoma.

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