Information tool for better health care in rural communities: making family folder operational
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Author(s): Lemma I, Azim T, Akalu T, Kassahun H, Lemecha G, Mesfin G, Accorsi S, Mamo D
In the context of the health sector reform and decentralization in Ethiopia, health information that is standardized, integrated and well linked at all levels plays a central role to monitor the health services and health status of the population.
The organization of the family-based services in Ethiopia, the Health Extension Program, has called for the reorganization of information systems to collect and use information for action at local level using a Family Folder. This in turn drives a need for the careful assessment of what is required for local (community level) data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination, as well as linking to the national Health Management Information System. A collaborative effort made by the Policy, Planning and Finance General Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office, Italian Cooperation, USAID-funded JSI/MEASURE Evaluation HMIS Project, and Tulane University Technical Assistance Project Ethiopia (TUTAPE), was carried out to pilot options for operationalization of the community-based health information system, of which the Family Folder is the center piece. The results of the pilot implementation are expected to inform the nation-wide scale-up of the community-based health information system in Ethiopia. It is foreseen that the findings from this exercise will be used principally by the national, regional and district experts and the Health Extension Program experts all over the country as well as experts at the Monitoring and Evaluation Units of the FMOH and Regional Health Bureaus.
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