The Health Extension Program
The Health Extension Program (HEP) is an innovative health service delivery program that aims at universal coverage of primary health care. The program gives priority to the prevention and control of communicable disease with active community participation, with the goal of providing equitable access to health services. The program is based on expanding physical health infrastructure and developing a cadre of Health Extension Workers (HEWs) who will provide basic curative and preventive health services in every rural community.
The government decided to accelerate the implementation of the HEP in order to cover the whole country by 2009. So far, 9400 HEWs have been trained and deployed in 4700 villages, and a total of 30,000 HEWs will be trained by 2009. In addition, thousands of other health care services staff, particularly at the Health Center level, will receive training to aid in the accelerated implementation of the HEP.