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 Health Extension Program MDGs in Ethiopia Millennium Villages Malaria Quick Impact


Health Extension Day (18 -19 May 2007)
Gala event at the Extension Day Celebration            

The Health Extension Day was colorfully celebrated in the Southern People's Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Regional State Capital Awassa from 18 to 19 May 2007. The Event , which was attended by federal and regional officials, UN and NGO partners includes a gala ceremony, experience sharing among regions and an award ceremony to 37 best performing Health Extension Workers drawn from seven regions namely: Tigrai, Amhara, Oromia, Benishagul Gumuz, SNNP, Harari and Dire Dawa.

In his opening remark, His Excellency Dr. Shiferaw T. Mariam stated that the government plans to cover all rural villages with the Health Extension Program by the Ethiopian turn of millennia, (Year 2008 G.C). With the current interventions, health service coverage has significantly improved over the last five years, according to the State Ministers report.

Indicator 2002 2006
Access to toilet facility 11.5% 50%
Contraceptive acceptance Rate 14% 35.8%
Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000 live births) 97 77
Under 5 Mortality Rate (per 1000 live births) 165 123
Maternal Mortality Rate (per 100,000 live births) 883 673

He also pointed out that the Health Extension Program needs to be owned by the community and continuous support and follow-up by the District health office need to be assured. He also congratulated the 37 Health Extension Workers who have been selected from seven regions as a result of their outstanding performance. 'You are here because you have decisively done great job in your respecitve villages', he said to the Health Extension Workers.

The Health Extension Workers then shared their experiences and the experience of fellow HEWs in their respective regions to the participants: The major experiences they shared were outlined as follows:

Begin with introduction with the community leaders, elders, and influential individuals, and the community
Conduct a baseline study and map the village and it facilities: population: under 1 population, under 3 population, under five population, population of women 15-49 years of age; access to basic health services, access to toilets, potable water etc
Prioritize the problems and plan activities
Carry out activities according to the plan
Select model individuals and households and share their experience with other individuals and households, among sub-villages , villages and districts
In some regions individuals and households were recognized by means of graduation for their exemplary works.
Significant changed have been observed with regard to the major indicators set out for the year