13 January 2018

Ethiopia: Ministry to Launch New Health Care Guideline

ADDIS ABABA - A new primary healthcare guideline would be implemented nationwide to ensure uniformity and quality of health service delivery in all health centers and places, according to Ministry of Health.

Clinical service Directorate Acting Director and national public healthcare guideline coordinator with the Ministry Dr. Yibeltal Mekonnen told that the ministry is launching public healthcare guideline to provide qualified and well-organized service thorough the nation.

He added that one of the major setbacks to health service delivery in Ethiopia today is inequity and the need to provide quality integrated health care for all its citizens. Primary public healthcare is aimed as the way to provide quality and reliable health service. Standard treatment guidelines and the essential health service packages have been developed and implementing at health centers and institutions across the country.

Healthcare infrastructure development coverage has reached 85 percent in health institutions, but there is a gap in delivering quality health service. To solve the problem and to satisfy the community health care guideline is the most important tool, he added.

The primary healthcare guideline is developed based on citizen's question and demand to apply the system due to service delivery variation from health center to health center and place to place, he pointed.

"The guideline supports professionals how to treat, address and approach patients with the most repeated and the same symptoms and pains to respond appropriate treatment, advice and life change problems of community. The system enables professionals to treat using red box condition if emergency conditions happen which could affect the life of community especially due to non-communicable diseases and it decides service range of health centers.

He stressed that healthcare guideline system where multiple treatment options are available, the_development and implementation of standard treatment guideline is a_crucial strategy for ensuring uniform, quality, effective and safe deliver of treatments containing_health care services in all health institutions including curative and preventive methods.

"When properly developed and implemented, healthcare treatment guideline_enhances rational treatment implementation and improves the quality of healthcare services. The guideline provides up-to-date information relevant to the prevention, diagnosis_and treatment of common diseases in Ethiopia which helps to achieve stipulation_of quality care to patients or customers."

He further added that primary public healthcare guideline provides greater uniformity and standards of treatment, improve_diagnostic accuracy, promote effective and safe use of medicines, and_serve as a basis for improving treatment outcomes of the country.

The quality of healthcare services is very important for people of a country. It is vital that the primary healthcare practitioners provide the best service to the consumers of healthcare, he said.

Moreover, essential health care services must satisfy the priority health-care needs of the population resulting better health care, improved treatment, better use of resources and greater access to care the director told.

Ethiopia is in the process of introducing and implementing the system of primary public healthcare guideline to ensure the quality service and to outreach appropriate, efficient and quality health service, he insisted.

One of the key involvements that will be addressed by the primary healthcare guideline is the stipulation of a comprehensive package of quality service underpinned to focus mainly on health treatment, promotion, and preventative care and advice services, he said.

He emphasized that there are various healthcare guidelines in the country, but the current guideline is unique in its nature that is simple for servant or professionals to implement, coordinates all treatments, based on updated knowledge and approaches the interest of the customers and has planned to implement and expand the system across country within three years.

The director noticed that implementing the guideline in health centers helps to deliver quality health service, serve as one input for professionals to fill the gap of skill, knowledge and attitude and paves the way to learn each other in their institutions.

He stated that political commitment, customers demand, the responsibilities of concerned bodies and support of stakeholders helps to implement the issue. Giving continuous support for health centers, training more professionals and letting the professionals to apply the guideline without an extra system are expected to assist efforts of overcoming the possible obstacles.

As an international standard guideline it enables professionals to implement properly in treating patients with 20 chronic symptoms.

"The aim of launching the new system is to deliver qualified and uniform health service in all health institutions across the nation. And it is aimed to develop ethics, knowledge and skill of professionals considering existing objective situation of the world containing minimum essential healthcare service packages creating good opportunity to improve health service delivery in a capable way."

He indicated that it has taken preliminary tests in six selected regional health centers to test out the implementation and to differentiate challenges and now it is planned to expand the system in nine region selected 52 health centers including Addis Ababa and Diredawa city administrations after completion of trainees training starting next week, he added.

It is also planned to expand the system in all 900 woredas within three years correcting the faced challenges during the testing time.

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