Projects Outputs


Enhancing health worker performance in Ethiopia with mHealth

Health extension workers (HEW) in Ethiopia occupy a unique position by providing a vital link between communities and the health sector. The front line of Ethiopia’s primary health system, HEWs shoulder the tremendous responsibility of providing services to families and communities. They also transmit information to higher-level facilities to ensure appropriate care for patients and adequate resources for treating them. for more see the link below.

In Shebedino REACHOUT’s Quality Improvement approach is here to stay

 By Rosalind Steege

 The European Commission funding of the REACHOUT project may have officially come to an end, but the impact of the work and its legacy will surely live on. This became apparent to me when I was fortunate enough to visit the REACH team in Ethiopia for the project’s final dissemination meeting. REACHOUT has been working for the past five years in Shebedino district just outside of Hawassa.

 It had been a year since my last visit and the road from Hawassa to Shebedino (where the project was implemented) is still being worked on, it makes for a strenuous journey as stretches of new tarmac are interspersed with patches of rubble that would challenge even the best suspension mechanisms. Over time of course, piece by piece, the rubble will be filled in until inevitably one 25km swathe of smooth tarmac will connect the two and greatly improve the efficiency (not to mention comfort) of the journey. Travelling this bumpy road on the way to visit the health centres in Shebedino, I couldn’t help but reflect on how the incremental step by step approach they have taken to building the road, is not dissimilar to the approach REACHOUT has taken with its Quality Improvement (QI) cycles, where QI teams use a PDSA (plan, do study, act) approach resulting in continuous incremental improvements that expands the overall quality of health service provision. for more see the link below

Ethiopia: Health System

In 2004 Ethiopia launched its internationally acclaimed Health Extension Program, a national health policy which included community-based health interventions.  The aim of this strategy was to achieve universal coverage in primary health care for the rural population.  Female health extension workers were trained and paid by the government. They work in the community at ‘health posts’ covering populations of 5000 on average and delivering primary health services under sixteen separate health packages under the Health Extension Program. The health extension workers are supported by volunteer community health promoters, the ‘health development army’, who train ‘model families’ to implement health initiatives and to serve as role models or graduated households, showing the benefits to their village. The health development army links one model family to five other households. In Ethiopia, the community in general has benefited from political commitment to deliver primary health services to the community, but more is to be done to ensure universal coverage.




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