Monkeypox: Important virus knowledge is conveyed worldwide in real time

30.05.2022 – 09:49

HPI Hasso Plattner Institute

Potsdam (ots)

Just a few weeks after the noticeably increased occurrence of monkeypox in people in several countries around the world, the World Health Organization has already published current online courses on the rare viral disease on its openWHO learning platform. The German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), which provides technical support for the WHO learning platform, draws attention to this. There, interested parties can now learn the most important things about prevention, early detection, infection routes, symptoms and control in two free courses in English and French. Shortly after the announcement by the Geneva World Health Organization on May 24, more than 46,000 people worldwide have already registered for the two monkeypox courses.

“There is a compact introductory course and a more detailed course. Both are specifically designed for African countries where the disease is endemic,” reports HPI director Prof. Christoph Meinel. According to him, not only employees from the public health sector can deal with the content, but basically everyone who is interested. To date, more than 430 confirmed monkeypox infections have been registered outside West and Central Africa (source: Monkeypox). Around 140 suspected cases are still being investigated. No deaths were reported.

According to the HPI director, the most recent cases of monkeypox, the corona pandemic that has been rampant for two years and the Ebola epidemic of 2017 show how necessary online courses are now for the rapid global dissemination of vital knowledge. “The WHO published a first online course on Covid-19 diseases on its platform on January 25, 2020 – five days before the Geneva authorities declared a global emergency,” recalls the Potsdam e-learning expert. At that date, the new type of corona virus did not even have its current name, but only the provisional name 2019-nCoV.

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WHO uses e-learning technology from the Hasso Plattner Institute

The WHO learning platform has been working with the e-learning technology developed by the Potsdam institute for five years. Immediately after the Ebola outbreak in June 2017, the platform helped the world organization to train the emergency services on the ground in Congo and other countries.

The IT scientists at the HPI developed the technology back in 2012 – for their own internet education platform openHPI. This makes the institute Europe’s pioneer among the providers of “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOC) on information technology and innovation topics.

openWHO celebrates its fifth birthday on June 1st

As a partner of the Hasso Plattner Institute, the WHO is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the launch of openWHO on June 1st. According to the world organization, it has so far registered around 6.6 million enrollments on 148 course topics, which are dealt with in 64 languages. 44 offers alone revolve around the topic of Covid-19. In total, courses on 28 different diseases are available on openWHO, including monkeypox. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary, the World Health Organization invites you to an open webinar entitled “Learning for the world in epidemics and pandemics”. It starts on June 1st at 11:30 a.m. Central European Summer Time. Leading WHO officials provide a behind-the-scenes look at the platform and share their experiences of disseminating medical information in response to public health threats. Anyone interested can register online.

Background on HPI’s educational platform technology

As a pioneer among European scientific institutions, the Hasso Plattner Institute launched its own interactive courses on September 5, 2012 – on the Internet platform Since then, this has offered free access to current university knowledge from the rapidly changing areas of information technology and innovation. So far, this has mainly been done in German and English. In autumn 2017, however, openHPI also offered the online translation and subtitling of a course in eleven world languages ​​for the first time. Around 1.1 million course enrollments have now been registered on openHPI. A good 302,000 people from 180 countries are currently part of the regular group of users on the platform. It grows every day. To date, the institute has issued more than 123,000 certificates for particularly successful participants in its “Massive Open Online Courses”, or MOOCs for short. The openHPI annual program includes numerous offers for IT beginners and experts. The around 80 courses offered in the past can still be used for self-study – also free of charge. Students can now also have credit points recognized at their university for completing openHPI courses. Anyone who wants to watch video lessons from the courses on the go when no internet connection is guaranteed (e.g. on an airplane) can also use the openHPI app for Android mobile devices, iPhones or iPads. Partner platforms that work with the same learning technology are, for example, openSAP and OpenWHO. The HPI platform is also used for the KI campus and the eGov campus.

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Press contact:

Press contact: [email protected]
Christiane Rosenbach, Tel. 0331 5509-119, [email protected]
and Carina Kretzschmar-Weidmann, Tel. 0331 5509-177,
[email protected]



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