UNICEF Funds Open University Training for Community Health Workers in Ethiopia


The Open University's HEAT (Health Education and Training) program and its partners have been awarded $4 million by UNICEF to help train Ethiopia's 31,000 rural community health workers. Starting in 2010, a pilot cohort of 1,000 community health workers (known as Health Extension Workers in Ethiopia) will begin studying the first of four modules on antenatal care, labor and delivery, postnatal care and the integrated management of newborn and childhood illnesses.

The HEAT program will use the Open University's established and successful distance-learning model to develop tailored learning materials which will enable rural health workers to remain in their communities while improving their skills. The distance-learning materials will be studied alongside practical skills training and by upgrading the community health workers as birth attendants and equipping them to treat common childhood illnesses including pneumonia; these modules will help Ethiopia meet the Millennium Development Goals, to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015. [adaped from news release]

For more information, see the Open University website.

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