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Revisiting the quality of Health Extension Workers’ training: Case study from Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Background:- Ethiopia has been training community health workers, locally under its program of Health Extension Workers, in Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETI) since 2003. Objective:- To examine conditions that may affect the quality of health extension workers training in Ethiopia. Methods:- We conducted a qualitative case study interviewing 32 informants. This approach helped us get insight into the subject from different perspectives. The staffs of two institutions and the Amhara Region Health Bureau, and health extension workers were involved in the study. Data collected were analyzed through an interpretative approach. Results:- The study showed that the curriculum for the training had not been revised since it was developed. Shortage of teaching facilities and on-the-job training of teachers were also identified as constraints. Conclusion:- The curriculum should be revised and more time allotted for practicum and improved training facilities are needed for this purpose. Teachers need to continue updating themselves and their skills. Better collaboration between the training institutions and the health system is necessary for enhancing the quality of health extension workers training. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2011; 25(3):201-205]

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