Community health workers
The ITL project works in two zones (South Omo and Konso), and in each zone the project operates in 2 woredas (districts). Konso and South Omo have been badly affected by drought for the past 6 years causing widespread challenges including communicable disease outbreaks (malaria, measles, cholera and diarrhoea), desert locusts and malnutrition.
During the trip you will meet community representatives from across the following woredas - Benatsemay, Kena and Kerat woredas. Those pictured below are members of the Health Development Armies at community level and Health Extension Workers at community health outposts.
The Health Defence Army are community-based volunteers who identify, report and refer cases of communicable diseases. Each member has responsibility for providing information to the community within their locality, with a specific responsibility for conducting home visits to around 30-50 households. As such they play a vital role in ensuring rapid response to potential outbreaks, delivering community-based health messaging and reporting potential outbreaks to the Health Extension Worker at the Health Post, who in turn reports to the Health Office.
Training through this project on public health emergency management has enabled Health Defence Armies to provide information to communities on preventative WASH measures and strengthened their capacity in making referrals. The new health reporting formats have also assisted the Health Extension Workers in capturing disease instances and reporting them to health centres in a more effective way, thus triggering pre-emptive action as soon as possible and saving lives.
Keshi is a member of the Health Defence Army in Kena Woreda
Bruk Girma is a Health Extension Worker in Kena Woreda health post
Masare is a member of the Health Development Army in Karat Woreda
Kataye Kasata is a Health Extension Worker in Kena woreda
We also want to introduce the Public Health Emergency Management Officers (PHEM Officers) who will be joining the session. PHEM Officers coordinate and assist efforts to improve the preparedness of the health sector and the preparedness of communities to reduce the public health consequences of outbreaks of diseases. Strengthening the Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) system is key to preventing and treating communicable disease outbreaks
Kuse is a Public Health Emergency Management Officer in Kena Woreda
Agmas is PHEM officer in Benatsemay woreda
Neway Abayneh, Coordinator at AFD
Degefu Getachew, Christian Aid Ethiopia Program officer