Applied research on HEWs using eHealth to strengthen equitable health system in Southern Ethiopia

By Dr. Daniel G. Datiko, Mr Webalem Mengesha, Prof. SallyTheobald, Rosalind Steege
Study setting:
Intervention zone
The project was conducted in Sidama zone, Southern Ethiopia. The project was implemented in six Primary Health Care Units (PHCU – includes health center and satellite health posts) based in six districts of Sidama zone. The health centers and districts (Arbegona, Bona Zuria, Hula, Boricha, Dale, Shebedino)
The HEWs in this region are all female by policy and work at health posts based in Kebeles (the smallest administrative unit). Two HEWs are assigned in each kebele with an average population of 5,000 people (about 1,000 households). The HEWs devote 70% of their time to making house-to-house visits. Coverage of health services has improved from the implementation of HEP; however, there is still a long way to go to achieve universal health coverage. There are 16 health extension packages under four major components that fall under the HEWs’ responsibilities. Maternal and child health and TB prevention and control are included in the sixteen packages delivered by HEWs and are both key national public health priority areas. Improving maternal health outcomes and effective TB prevention and control requires early identification, linkage to community or facility-based services, follow-up and an improved reporting system whereby local data collection can be acted upon to support service delivery to those most in need.

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REACH Ethiopia grew out of a TB project that started in 2010. This project introduced an innovative community package that engaged health extension workers (HEWs) to increase TB case detection and treatment adherence.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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