Human resource development for a community-based health extension program: a case study from…

IntroductionEthiopia is one of the sub-Saharan countries most affected by high disease burden, aggravated by a shortage and imbalance of human resources, geographical distance, and socioeconomic factors. In 2004, the government introduced the Health Extension Program (HEP), a primary care delivery strategy, to address the challenges and achieve the World Health Organization Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within a context of limited resources.Case description: The health system was reformed to create a platform for integration and institutionalization of the HEP with appropriate human capacity, infrastructure, and management structures. Human resources were developed through training of female health workers recruited from their prospective villages, designed to limit the high staff turnover and address gender, social and cultural factors in order to provide services acceptable to each community. The service delivery modalities include household, community and health facility care. Thus, the most basic health post infrastructure, designed to rapidly and cost-effectively scale up HEP, was built in each village.

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Human resource development for a community-based health extension program: a case study from…