Pioneering a Paperless Journey at the Community Level: The Case of Daro Health Post (HP)

Daro HP is one of the HPs in Anchar woreda in the West Hararghe Zone of Oromia Region. It is located 19 kilometers from Chiro town, the zonal capital. The health extension workers (HEWs) at the HP deliver basic health education, preventive and curative services through home visits and outreach and collect service delivery data using both the manual and electronic community health information system (eCHIS). Over the last three years, the HEWs at Doro HP used eCHIS for collecting routine household information and reporting activities.

However, HEWs had to use the manual registers and tally sheets for two reasons: 1) not all forms were digitized, and 2) even for the digitized forms, the government expected them to record the information twice using the eCHIS and the manual forms. This caused data collection burden, fatigue, and data quality issues.

Mrs. Mulu Terefe, a HEW at Daro HP, says: “I had to carry folders, cards, and tally sheets during home visits and outreach services, which was a lot of work and time-consuming.” She is one of the best users of eCHIS and proudly explains the benefit: “eCHIS solved my burden and it makes my life easier. It is easy to access data for reporting and emergency situations.

Photo: Mrs. Mulu Terefe, Health Extension Worker at Daro HP, Oromia Region.

Now, Daro HP has gone paperless. HEWs at the HP carry only tablets during home visits. This has helped alleviate the burden of data collection during household registration and service delivery. HEWs also easily access all the data about community volunteers from the eCHIS tablet. The HP has become a model in a composite information revolution (IR) assessment verification conducted by DHA and the zonal health department.

USAID’s DHA provided capacity-building training for HEWs and HC staff to implement all modules of the eCHIS at the HP. DHA’s ongoing mentorship and support helped address challenges, transfer knowledge, and encourage its adoption. This has helped Daro HP to become the first HP to go paperless in Ethiopia.

Mr. Hailu Ketema, the woreda health office head says: “It is important to serve the community from the heart. eCHIS application helps record the services provided to the community. Dedication is important to serve the community.” He adds: “The initiative requires continuous technical and financial support to sustain the current gains. So, strong collaboration is needed with the public and other stakeholders.

Photo: Mr. Hailu Ketema, head of the Anchar Woreda health office.

Article by:

Emiru Diriba
Field Data Use Officer, USAID Digital Health Activity
Share this post