Health extension workers help an Ethiopian community improve health services for women and children
Adimenaber community members and health extension workers (HEWs) recognized that they needed to improve health services for women and children so they worked together to identify four key barriers to improving maternal and child health outcomes:
To address these impediments, the Gates Foundation's Last 10 Kilometers (L10K) Project, implemented in Ethiopia by John Snow, Inc., helped organize a participatory community quality improvement (PCQI)* committee, comprised of HEWS and community members. The group discussed the barriers and carried out the following efforts to mitigate them:
In the six months after these actions were taken, 16 mothers delivered their babies at a health post. Moreover, the maintenance of 5 kilometers of roads in the kebele improved MNH services, including antenatal care (ANC), delivery and postnatal care (PNC). The roads provided HEWs with better access to previously inaccessible gotts (neighborhoods) in the kebele, thus enabling them to identify 56 pregnant women over the same period.
“Prior to PCQI implementation, very few pregnant mothers came to the health post for checkups and counseling, but now many of them do,” said Alem Berhe, the Kebele Manager. He discussed the new monthly mother's day meetings, at which, over tea and coffee, pregnant mothers share their experiences and concerns, and HEWs educate and offer services.
The implementation of L10K's Participatory Community Quality Improvement process in the Tahtay Koraro Woreda of Tigray has resulted in better maternal and child health practices in all of the woreda's intervention kebeles. The cooperation of the community in the Adimenaber kebele to improve the health outcomes of their neighbors sets an inspiring precedent for the implementation of future PCQI projects.
|Related Project: The Last Ten Kilometers: What it Takes to Improve Health Outcomes in Rural Ethiopia (2007-2015)|