Traditional methods of training

Most previous methods of continuous training, especially for nurses, consisted of instructional courses at central hospitals. These traditional courses were expensive and managed by formal tutors. Frequently participants had to leave their homes and places of employment to attend these courses. The content was often inappropriate to the needs of smaller hospitals and clinics and did not address the health care problems of poor, rural communities. The result commonly was disappointment and frustration. Therefore, traditional training courses were often not accessible to staff working in rural areas where maternal and perinatal mortality rates are the highest. Due to lack of funding, few experienced tutors, long distances and the impracticality of moving essential staff away from their homes and workplaces, what was urgently needed was some form of self-help, distance learning programme.