NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Nomana Zeeshan

Project: A pedagogical research on use of an online learning platform by final year medical students on under five pneumonia

Fellowship overview

  • Acute or chronic:  Acute
  • Country:  Pakistan
  • Based at:  Neoventive Solutions
  • Start date:  01 April 2019
  • End date:  31 December 2020
  • Supervisors:  Jurgen Schwarze, Jeni Harden, Tabish Hazir


Pneumonia continues to be the leading killer of children under five in Pakistan. The key strategy of WHO-UNICEF pneumonia control programmes is standardised case management. These guidelines have been adapted by Pakistan and are included in the undergraduate syllabi of all public and private medical colleges. It is therefore reasonable to expect that these guidelines are being practised in the community.

However, there is a concern that this is not the case since pneumonia management practices are variable across the country. This could be due to flaws in undergraduate training packages and variations in teaching methodologies across various medical institutions.

We feel that the use of online teaching packages, readily available to the undergraduate medical students on their cell phones, can enhance the quality of training in pneumonia case management.  

Aim and impact

The aim is to use an online case management training application to facilitate final year medical students on the correct identification and management of pneumonia in children under five.

We expect that improved knowledge and skills of the undergraduate medical students in correct identification and treatment of childhood pneumonia, using a specially designed online e-learning application, will enable them to deal with pneumonia cases more effectively and thus help to reduce pneumonia related morbidity and mortality in children under five.

We also expect that this innovative curriculum format can also be easily adapted to improve case management of other common paediatric illnesses.

Key developments

  • Presented at two stakeholder engagement events in Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan, for the National Susutainable Development Goals Task Force.
  • Presented RESPIRE study at a round table discussion of the International Conference on Early Childhood Development.
  • Online learning portal focused on pneumonia identification and management launched on 24th April. Modules are being completed by students and positive feedback has been received.
  • Adapted the portal to incorporate a COVID-19 module.

Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan

View project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway

About me

I started my career as a medical practitioner in paediatrics and thereafter entered into academics on teaching side. Two years ago, I joined as the Director of MNCHRN (MNCHRN re-branded as Neoventive Solutions in October 2020) and I have been involved in various research projects since then. Being one of the honorary directors of MNCHRN has given me the opportunity to expand my research experience.

Additionally, I teach medical students and this project is very relevant to my profession. I strongly feel that the successful completion of this trial can bring revolutionary changes in the current medical education on scaling up.