Established in 2003 as a joint initiative between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Government of Japan and Pacific Ministers of Health, Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN) is a blend between digital networks and physical infrastructure. It was developed to bridge the gaps between geographically dispersed health workers in Pacific island countries and to boost the knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance of health workers.
Since then, POLHN has grown to become a network of more than 30,000 health workers in 15 Pacific Island countries: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
POLHN develops, provides and sponsors appropriate non-credited and accredited curricula in the areas of medicine, nursing, health education and public health facilitated through various collaborative partners. These include universities, institutions, professional bodies, healthcare organisations, and research entities.
Short self-paced continuing professional development (CPD) refresher courses are made available to health workers, clinicians, public health practitioners and other users at no fee via the internet through POLHN course page. POLHN also sponsors specialised online accredited postgraduate programmes from partner universities.
POLHN envisions achieving e-learning excellence for a better Pacific health workforce. Through online education and collaborative partnerships, it is able to develop health workers with a sustainable and responsive skill mix, without causing financial burden.
E-learning excellence for a better Pacific health workforce
To develop a knowledgeable, skilled and motivated health workforce using relevant, effective and quality e-learning
- To provide access to quality, equitable, efficient and effective e-learning platforms that support health workers to maintain relevant skills and in so doing to enable countries to have a more sustainable and responsive skill mix;
- To assist regulatory and ministerial bodies to develop relevant policies for continuing professional development (CPD) of health workforces; and
- To support in building and sustaining the capacity of institutions to provide appropriate and accredited curricula through collaborative partnerships with health professionals, service providers, professional bodies, healthcare organisations, education and research entities.