HEALTH

Limited access to health promotion and disease prevention programs and healthcare services are major health challenges. The cultural and social norms surrounding the health behaviors and low awareness    are major barriers to access health services.  To address challenges of the health services, EPaRDA has undertaken various activities in its intervention areas – with primary focus on maternal and child health.  The major interventions include:

Mobile Outreach Service: Taking into consideration the mobile lifestyles and unique health challenges of the pastoralist communities’ mobile outreach camps services are introduced. Through this, EPaRDA contributed for the improvement of access to health services thereby availing mobile clinics with qualified health professionals and essential medicines. Furthermore, EPaRDA conducted health education both at village and household levels. In addition, regular outreach immunization for children under five and women in child bearing age were conducted in more than 80 kebeles of the intervention areas.

Building Birthing Huts: In the early days of EPaRDA’s intervention one of the major achievement has been establishment of birthing huts. In absence of health facilities – birthing huts have been a preferred option in order to improve maternity services.  This has been the ground work for the subsequent   concrete steps to shift from home delivery to institutional delivery.

Health education and awareness: Organized regular basic health education through mobile outreach using an organized community volunteers.  Community members have been reached through health education messages that cover   anti natal and post natal care, institutional delivery, and immunization of children, malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS, and also water, hygiene and sanitation.

Health insurance schemes and drug revolving funds: EPaRDA introduced health insurance schemes to address the financial barrier in accessing health services. This program gives special attention to mothers. Thus, several health insurance scheme groups were established and members benefited and cover their costs in relation to getting medical treatment, purchasing medicine and   paying for transportation.

EPaRDA also created a Revolving Drug Fund system to rural health centers that commonly faces shortage of essential medicines. This intervention ensured essential medicines are made available with affordable price to the communities.

Capacity building:  capacity building of the health facilities has been conducted over the years through   training for health professionals, and community health promoters, provision of essential medical equipments, construction and renovation of facilities, and provision of financial support.  These supports have contributed for improvement of the quality of the service delivery.