A great emphasis has recently been placed on midwifery in Afghanistan. Even CNN has reported on this phenomenon as there has been a revival of the profession as hundreds of women take up the trade. This revival is definitely due to an increasing need as Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world, with a woman dying during childbirth every half hour.
As Afghan women take up the commitment to learn this trade, new tools are now at their disposal like never before. USAID has launched a program that places 51 computers around various training facilities in Afghanistan, and is employing the use of e-learning materials to provide these midwives with supplemental information on pregnancy, childbirth and neo-natal care. This is an important first step in improving healthcare for members of third world countries. Indeed, officials are touting this as the beginning of a new wave of improvement in the lives of women, children and families in Afghanistan.
I agree. While many aspects and foundations of medicine will always be taught in person by an experienced professional, this is definitely a positive step for continuing education. Imagine being able to disseminate important new discoveries about a relevant disease or condition instantaneously to the people on the ground who need it most. Behind us are the days of reliance on expensive and quickly outdated text books, ahead are the days of collaboration between healthcare professionals, regardless of geographic location or language differences.