As part of the Health Sector Strategic Development Plan III 2022 – 2026 development and consultations, the WHO team, led by Dr Prosper Tumusiime, WHO Health Systems consultant, conducted field visits in Zoba Debub and Semenawi Keih Bahri (Northern Red Sea) from 23rd -26th June 2021.
The Zonal office for Debub was exemplary, with progress noted during the HSSDPII lifespan. These include expansion of Cesarean section and of Neonatology service in 5 hospitals, maternity waiting homes, and strengthening of data generation and use. The Zonal office exhibited excellent use of data for decision making. Dr Amanuel, Zoba Medical officer for Debub, indicated that the sub-zoba offices (Districts), which have recently been established, are instrumental for success the of UHC and SDGs attainment, and there is a need to operationalize them fully.
Some of the good efforts observed included tele-consultations and rotational specialist visits (e.g. Internist), who are located in other Zobas. Given the reduced utilization of services observed at zoba/regional levels, one of the recommendations is to enhance consultations across all zonal referral hospitals, so that people can access health care closer to home.
Zoba Semenawi Keih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
The Zonal office for Northern Red Sea (NRS) team presented a summary of progress during HSSDPII. NRS depicted sustained TB Treatment success rate at above 90%, introduction of neonatal and pediatric intensive care units in 4 hospitals, establishment of district (sub-zoba) health offices, and community led total sanitation success in 33 villages in Nakfa sub-zone. The sub-zoba office in Ghindae is also newly established and the team highlighted the need for institutional and human capacity building. The district had its own operational plan and quarterly review meeting, with reports produced.
The field visit, consultation noted that availability of sustainable sources of power, health financing for cross-cutting programs, standardization of tools for HSSDP monitoring at more regular intervals, need to be enhanced. There was a good coordination structure amongst the facility, Zoba, and sub-zoba offices, local government, associations and other stakeholders, which was strongly recommended to be leveraged on and utilized for advocacy and implementation of health determinants.
The field visits confirmed many of the findings from the National level key-informant discussions and presented an opportunity for in-depth consultation with frontline implementors. These consultation and findings will enrich the HSSDPIII development and ensure an accurate reflection of the success stories in the ground.