Ethiopian Journal of Health Development

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Assessment of the Training of the First Intake of Health Extension Workers

Y Kitaw, Y Ye-Ebiyo, A Said, H Desta, A Teklehaimano


Introduction: Ethiopia's poor health status is due primarily to communicable diseases, poor nutrition, and lack of access to health services in general and for most of the rural, nomadic pastoralist and fringe areas in particular. In response, the government has launched a Health Extension Program (HEP) for which training of Health Extension Workers (HEW) has been started. This study assesses the first year's HEW training program in terms of its inputs, processes and output.
Methods: The Method of the study included a questionnaire survey and an in-depth study of all the training centers except one.
Results: All the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutes (TVETIs) studied were found to lack adequate facilities to receive the HEW trainees including classrooms, libraries ICT, water and latrines. The selection of HEW was flawed, most being from woreda towns and not the rural villages they will be working in. Most trainees had
very low grade point average. Trainees did not have adequate orientation on their future job at recruitment. Trainees in some regions did not receive stipends while they did in others. However, trainees expressed a high level of commitment to work in rural areas. The number of trainers was low and very few were female or with degree. Top-up
of salaries were given in some regions but not others and trainers saw their employment status as ambiguous. Teaching and learning conditions were constrained with very little practical training.
Conclusion: Major issues are discussed and recommendations made on improving future training, improving the knowledge and skill of graduates through continuing education and on future training to replace attrition.

Ethiopian Journal of Health Development Vol. 21 (3) 2007: pp. 232-239
AJOL African Journals Online