The Health extension Program

The health extension package is the most important institutional framework for achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs). Moreover, the government has focused on providing quality promotive, preventive and selective curative health services in accessible and equitable manner to reach all segments of population, with special attention to mothers and children.

In order to overcome the existing health problem of the people and increase their involvement in identifying addressing their own problem, interventions are being given in packages, through the health the heath extension program. Health development groups are vital instrument to meet the MDGs and five year growth and transformation plan (GTPs) In our region, 917,072 (99.3%) of the women are organized as health developmental army, 25-30 women in a group of net worked one to five, with 30,714 organized women health developmental groups (WHDGs) The WHDGs are taken as key actors for successful implementation of HEP.

Most of these WHDGs were enthusiastically working for improving maternal and child health through mobilizing pregnant mothers to attend antenatal and postnatal care on regular bases, keep follow up and promotion of skilled birth care and as a matter of fact tremendous changes are beginning to be observed.
This approach was important to strengthen and increase efficacy of HEWs, not a substitute. There are best practices in the region with this regard: developing individual and team level plan and regular evaluation as best practice, arranging “sweet home” in health institutions to reverse the preference of home delivery, networking and solving economical problems through local initiative, using the young as traditional professionals and political commitments to allow care of each sector as ambulance. Currently there are more than 172 medical doctors, of whom33of them are specialists, more than 874 midwifes and 562 health officers deployed in hospitals and health centers and more than 2038 health extension workers working in health posts of entire region.

The physician, public health officers to population ratio is 1:30,506 and 1:9,336 without and with considering public health officers respectively. Nurses (diploma and above) to population ratio is 1:1,337 and midwife (diploma and above) to population ratio is 1:6,003.

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