Retaining Community Health Workers in Ethiopia

Mesrak BelatchewIn a recent New York Times opinion, Tina Rosenberg asked “What makes community health care work?” Her commentary highlights the important elements for sustaining community health work in developing countries—careful financing, using teaching as part of the sustainability structure, supervision and training, working with the government, and scaling up according to the program and country context—and refers to the rich experiences of BRAC in Bangladesh.

Ethiopia’s health extension worker (HEW) initiative, established in 2004, is another example of a successful program in sub-Saharan Africa. Developed and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the HEW program has evolved both in scope and scale to accommodate new health initiatives. Read more »

“With Technical Support You Learn to Fish”

Sarah DwyerWorking on the CapacityPlus project, I’m always excited to see capacity-building in action and hear how local leaders are strengthening the health workforce. Recently I learned about a terrific story from West Africa and wanted to help share it.

Building local ability to gather and use data
At the Health Information System Unconference in Accra, CapacityPlus’s Dykki Settle interviewed Kayode Odusote of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). Professor Odusote is helping WAHO’s member countries gather and use health worker data to make decisions about the health workforce.

In this piece from the CapacityPlus Voices series, Professor Odusote talks about a successful pilot in Ghana using iHRIS software. He emphasizes that the capacity-building aspect of WAHO’s partnership with our project is really what he values. “It’s a technical partnership,” he points out, “and basically for me that is much more than money. If you can build a core nucleus of local capacity,” he says, that has everything to do with sustainability. Read more »

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