NPI EXPAND is implementing NPI EXPAND, a five-year (October 2019-October 2024) USAID-funded program to increase the availability and use of health services by strengthening the technical and organizational capacity of new and underutilized partners (NUPs) and supporting them to scale-up health innovations in line with the USAID Local Capacity Development strategy. As one of the CSO implementing partners , Mahiberehiwort for Social Development has been implementing Social Accountability for better primary health service project in Amhara region at Waghimra ( Sekota Zuria and Gazgibla) and North wollo zone ( Gidan and Gazo woreda) . The main goal of this project is to improve the accessibility and quality of services in Family planning (FP) , Maternal , Newborn and Child health (MNCH). The aforementioned areas were selected taking the magnitude of the problem and the need on FP and MNCH in to consideration. While implementing the project different lessons were learned and success stories were witnessed in selected woredas of Waghimra and North wollo.
The major intervention approach to bring the intended change is community engagement through social accountability using community score card (CSC) tool. There are six steps in CSC.
Gidan woreda is found in North Wollo Zone , which is 360 km away from the capital city of Amhara region , Bahir Dar and 73 km from Woldia , North wollo zone capital . Currently it has a total population of 152,517.
Gidan woreda has the most responsive leadership and created enabling environment for the all key stakeholders involved in improving the quality of service on MNCH. Social accountability activities are not new to the woreda as they have been implemented with different partners. As per Ato Yohannes Mekbib who is head of Gidan woreda health office “ previously the CSC was done just for the sake of formality and showing off, now in collaboration with MSD we are implementing it for better impact and result’’ Ato Yohannes stretches “ The commitment and strength of MSD’s Social Accountability project team is inexplicable , their commitment and intensive follow up motivated us to not only to strengthen the quality of service on MNCH , but also made us look in to our institutional capacity’’
The leadership of the Gidan woreda is very much commendable and cooperative which clearly emanated from understanding Social Accountability (SA). After the partnership and the SA project initiated with MSD , significant changes were seen in the health centers under the administration of the woreda particularly at Mewal and Eyela Health centers which the project covers. Some of the major changes made were:
- Community Client council members newly established
- Drug availability gap were dealt with : for Ethiopian pharmaceutical Supply Agency to purchase regularly and for the woreda to distribute
- In terms of evaluating Health Service’s : Duty visits were conducted and actions were taken for the ones who were absent
- Gidan is now in a better status on Community Based Health Insurance (100%)
- Interface meetings are being conducted at each 7 kebeles
- Frequent check up and follow up on the status of JAP implementation is being conducted
- Actions are being taken and responses to the community demands are being given
- Four tones of crops were collected from the community and the woreda health office budgeted 153,828 ETB in addition to the community’s contribution of 30 ETB per household for Maternal waiting home
- Contributions of 50 Etb per house hold were collected from the community for fencing the health center compounds
Ato Yohannes concluded “There are different partners some bring money and some bring ideas and idea is the most important one, that is what MSD brought to us!”