Health Management Information System Showcased in Ethiopia
Successes from Ethiopia’s Health Management Information System (HMIS) project were highlighted at a national Ethiopia Ministry of Health annual review meeting in October 2012, held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. About 300 copies of a new factsheet on the HMIS were distributed during the four-day event.
The factsheet details the story of a health worker, Meron Kebede, new to the HMIS project implemented in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region. When conducting supervision visits to health posts throughout the region, Meron found that many of the health workers were unable to properly use parts of the HMIS. Following this realization and after discussing it with MEASURE Evaluation staff in the country, Meron then asked for and received funding from the regional health bureau to conduct staff trainings. More than 250 district and 44 health center-level supervisors have since been trained, specifically on the Community Health Information System.
Following the trainings—conducted in 2012—health workers were able to better implement HMIS aspects, such as family folders, or an assigned set of health cards for each household. One worker even realized that mothers were not returning for their children’s follow-up vaccinations. Following this finding, a house-to-house program advocating for return immunizations to the clinic was then conducted. As a result of the program, more children were immunized in one month alone than the three months before the program combined, and many of the children who had not received follow-up immunizations were brought back to the clinic to complete their vaccinations.
Tariq Azim of MEASURE Evaluation said receiving funding from the region to conduct training shows the program has support from the government there. “This is a very good thing that they’re understanding the benefits of the system,” said Azim, who is based in Ethiopia. Azim hopes to expand the system in other regions, specifically Oromia. The factsheet showcases the system’s successes and can help gain further support, he said.
The factsheet “gives us a tool to reach out to decision makers when we say good things are happening in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region,” he said. “It’s not just a tool that came out of it, but a tool in terms of helping service delivery.”
Access the Ethiopia HMIS factsheet.