India-Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre, a collaboration between the Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office, AIIMS New Delhi, and AIIMS Jodhpur, launched ‘Skill For Scale’, an e-learning initiative designed to equip nurses with hands-on practical knowledge and skills to practice latest patient care for managing non-communicable diseases. This program, certified by AIIMS Jodhpur and endorsed by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will allow nurses from across the country to register for free, learn at their own pace.
Nurses being the backbone of the healthcare system in India play a very critical role in enabling patients to understand a disease and its complications. In its first phase, the program is focusing on Diabetes management prevention and awareness based on a world-class comprehensive curriculum created from diverse resources available within the NCD domain following the NPCDCS guidelines. The program content and modules are created by the team of experts from AIIMS Jodhpur and an advisory board with representation from AIIMS Delhi, ICMR, DGHS, Indian Nursing Council (INC) and AstraZeneca. These modules will equip nurses to provide standardized and quality counselling, care and support services to the people to prevent and manage Diabetes. Subsequently, these trainings will be extended to other areas of NCDs in the subsequent phases like Hypertension, Cardiovascular and Oncology.
With a multi-phased approach, the Skill for Scale program is aimed to upskill 5,000 nurses across the country within this year by converting the current theoretical and practical modules into easy interactive e-learning techniques. Explaining the need of such an upskilling program, Dr. Sanjeev Misra, Director, AIIMS Jodhpur, said, “Non-communicable disease burden is increasing significantly in India and is already accounting for more than 60% of deaths in India. It is also estimated that 1 in 4 people have a risk of dying from an NCD before the age of 70. This burden of NCD is expected to increase further over the coming years but the number of doctors with specializations available to treat these increasing numbers is very limited making it critical to upskill the existing healthcare practitioners in managing non-communicable diseases. Through this initiative, we are trying to bridge the knowledge gap that exists at the point of care for patients. The curriculum of this program is carefully designed to enable nurses to deliver specialized care, essential support services and standardized counseling for patients living with an increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases in India.”
This e-learning mobile compatible program is pegged at two levels – basic and advanced, and includes a training of 20-24 hours to be completed at one’s own pace. The course can be completed in a span of 2 months further to which each student will be awarded a completion certificate from AIIMS Jodhpur.
“Skill for Scale program is in line with our continuous efforts and commitments to address the growing burden of NCDs on our healthcare systems. At AstraZeneca, we stand by our global initiatives and industry collaborations, focusing on creating awareness and upskilling key stakeholders to make healthier choices. The Government’s recognition of this program will go a long way to deliver accurate health information and ensure safe essential health services. We will continue to focus on upskilling the health workforce and bring impactful solutions locally and globally,” said Dr. Anil Kukreja, VP Medical Affairs and Regulatory, AstraZeneca India.
By the end of the training, nurses will be able to recognize risk factors, causes, pathophysiology, screening methods, diagnostic tests, and management of diabetes. They will gain an understanding to initiate timely action for confirmatory diagnosis and appropriate treatment, make timely referrals of complicated cases, follow standard treatment protocols, counsel and interact on the importance of early screening of diabetes, educate community on adoption of healthy lifestyle and assist them to overcome barriers, myths and misconceptions.
Explaining on the importance of industry support on critical healthcare programs, Cecilia Oskarsson, Swedish Trade Commissioner to India, said, “ISHIC was created to address the healthcare challenges in the country through key pillars – technology, protocol & process and capability building. We are deeply encouraged to see the support these programs have garnered from the government, key industry organisations which is absolutely crucial to be able to implement such programs at a national level and encourage wider use to be able to deliver benefits to the end patient and create an impact on the burden of healthcare. We will continue to evolve these programs to be able to bring about holistic benefit to patients in their journey of managing non-communicable diseases.”
The initiative will be implemented under the direction of an Advisory Committee led by Prof. Suresh K Sharma, Professor & Principal, College of Nursing, AIIMS Jodhpur. The advisory committee comprises of key dignitaries from AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Nursing Council (INC), AstraZeneca India, and Business Sweden. This committee will be responsible to outline and review of the entire schedule of interventions, governing the overall framework, planning and on-ground conduct of the initiative, continuous evaluation of the project, and development of a model for possible replication across the country.