Applied research on Health Extension Workers using e-health to strengthen equitable health systems in Southern Ethiopia

The E-health project aims to engage HEWs using e-health to strengthen equitable health systems in Sidama zone in Southern Ethiopia by improving the current health management information system (HMIS) and service quality in the community. The Ethiopian e-health program is one of the projects selected by SEARCH (Strengthening Equity through Applied Research Capacity building in eHealth). Other projects are taking place in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Lebanon, Peru and Vietnam (http://www.idrc.ca).  The project is supported IDRC’s Governance for Equity in Health Systems (GEHS) program and implemented in collaboration with LSTM http://www.lstmed.ac.uk

The e-health system will initially focus on tuberculosis (TB) and maternal and child health (MCH) – both priority health areas in Ethiopia - where we have pre-existing working relationships with HEWs and experience within the health system. We will use process evaluation and mixed methods approaches to assess the effectiveness of the e-health data collection system at the beginning and end of the project. The processes followed during the intervention and the influence of context will be explored in depth to generate lessons for scale up.

Empowering HEWs to collect analyse and use information from their communities has transformational potential to support both HEWs’ stronger participation in data generation and use for decision making and existing efforts to promote accountability, transparency and equity in health systems in Ethiopia. Read more: http://www.reachoutconsortium.org/news/international-women-s-day-2015-celebrating-women-s-role-in-the-promotion-of-primary-healthcare-in-ethiopia/

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