About us

bettercare-summary-pitch-image‘When I go to hospital, I meet empowered nurses who love what they do.’

That’s the world we want to help build – and we’d like to work with you to do it. We design learning programmes for healthcare professionals so that they can learn, practice and deliver excellent patient care.

Our programmes can be used by individuals or organisations and is easy adaptable to study groups or for use in formal training. We believe:

  • Traditional training is too expensive and takes staff away from their patients.
  • Health professionals care deeply about their own development, and can be inspired and empowered to learn.
  • Peer-learning is the best learning: it is more motivating and effective to learn among trusted colleagues.
  • Health professionals need material that is appropriate to the places they live and work, especially in low-resource settings.

Learning programmes designed for peer learning also make ideal textbooks for formal training, because of their clear, step-by-step approach and simple language.

Originally developed by the Perinatal Education Programme, and improved constantly for over 25 years, Bettercare material is widely used by government and private hospitals, non-profit organisations and training institutions in South Africa and other countries. Our learning programmes bring the latest developments in child, perinatal and HIV care to healthcare professionals working in challenging circumstances. We make high-quality, affordable and up-to-date training possible in every facility, regardless of its history, resources or geographical location.

Bettercare works in close partnership with the Perinatal Education Trust (PET) and other partners.

Also see:

A letter to our Bettercare community

We’ve made an important decision: from July 2020 and for the foreseeable future, Bettercare will not stock and sell printed books directly.

It will no longer be possible to buy single copies of our books. Instead, anyone who would like books can order their own small print run, which will be managed by our partner company Electric Book Works. It is cost-effective for you to do this if you need 30 copies or more of a book.

All of our learning programmes remain free to read on our website. And we’ll shortly be releasing an Android app that will put all of our books in your pocket, ready to read even when you’re offline.

Why have we made this decision?

For many years Bettercare has funded itself by selling printed books. We stayed sustainable this way with no outside operational funding, and we’re very proud of that. It kept us independent and focused on our mission to create excellent open-access learning materials.

We have always expected that, as online learning grows, more people may choose to learn online than to purchase a paper book. We have been steadily working towards a day when selling coursebooks would no longer be a viable way to sustain our operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly made that a reality. As universities send their students home, and hospitals pause in-person training, we can’t sell enough books to pay for our bookselling infrastructure: customer service, printing, warehousing, delivery and administration. It is time for us to evolve quickly.

What next?

As we mentioned before, all our books remain free to read on our website.

Any organisation that needs books can contact our partner company Electric Book Works (email team@electricbookworks.com). EBW will manage a print run just for you. This is cost-effective from around 30 copies. For example, if you’re running an event for 50 people who need, say, Infection Prevention and Control, EBW can have your chosen title printed for you within two weeks for a once-off fee. The cost will include a royalty for Bettercare, which will help keep us online.

While we are disappointed not to be supplying books to those that rely on them to teach and learn, we also recognise that this is an opportunity to evolve. As ever, thank you for your support.