Empowering farmer communities: Health[e]Families program mid-term visit to South Ethiopia region

A recent field visit to Ethiopia, put the spotlight on the important role played by community health extension workers. Emebet Hussen and Lisa Gullbransson from Health[e]Foundation travelled together with the Nuru Ethiopia team, to learn more how the currently piloted LUCY Care app is performing in the field, as well as to see how the  mostly offline digital learning is progressing. For  the Health[e]Families program financially supported by Dioraphte and Stichting Virtutis Opus,  50 Health Extension Workers in the rural South of Ethiopia are part of a pilot program where they receive a personal tablet with the LUCY Care app as well as access to our Moodle learning platform supporting the Health[e]Families course with seven  e-modules on topics related to mother and child care, nutrition, entrepreneurship and healthy living.

LUCY Care is our latest feature as part of the LUCY app. Since the FID assessment grant showed that smartphone coverage amongst (expectant) women in these remote settings is as low as four percent, LUCY Care is piloted to ensure Health Extension Workers can pass the information of the LUCY app to (expectant) women via their tablet as well as keep track of antenatal and postnatal visits of their community members. The trip to the South Ethiopia region started with meeting the trained Health Extension Workers, who serve as frontline champions in delivering vital healthcare services to remote and underserved farmer communities. Through discussions and sharing sessions, Health[e]Foundation and Nuru gained  important understanding of the benefits as well as the challenges  of using the digital tools for learning and information sharing in remote settings, and returned with lots of input to ensure  healthcare  at the lowest community level is delivered in the best possible way.

The visit to some of the most rural parts of Southern Ethiopia  really showed us  the key role of Health Extension Workers as catalysts for change in advancing health equity and building resilient communities. By amplifying their voices and sharing their stories, the visit also  gathered support for strengthening primary healthcare systems and fostering collaborative partnerships to ensure health for all, leaving an permanent mark on the journey towards a healthier, more equitable future.

The team together with Health Extension Workers after a successful sharing session on LUCY care and the Moodle offline learning

Health Extension Workers sharing their thoughts on the latest update of LUCY Care