Original Research

Exploring opportunities to enhance effectiveness of mobile health and nutrition strategy for providing health and nutrition services amongst pastoralists in Somali region, Ethiopia

Olusola Oladeji, Bibilola Oladeji, Mohamed Diaaeldin Omer, Abdifatah Elmi Farah, Ida M. Ameda, Rajeev Gera, Abibakar S. Ismail, Mohamed Ayanle, Opiyo Nixon, Hadis M. Diriye
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a2723 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.2723 | © 2021 Olusola Oladeji, Bibilola Oladeji, Mohamed Diaaeldin Omer, Abdifatah Elmi Farah, Ida M. Ameda, Rajeev Gera, Abibakar S. Ismail, Mohamed Ayanle, Opiyo Nixon, Hadis M. Diriye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 August 2020 | Published: 09 April 2021

About the author(s)

Olusola Oladeji, UNICEF Somali Region, UNICEF Ethiopia, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Bibilola Oladeji, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Mohamed Diaaeldin Omer, UNICEF ESARO, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya
Abdifatah Elmi Farah, UNICEF Somali Region, UNICEF Ethiopia, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Ida M. Ameda, UNICEF ESARO, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya
Rajeev Gera, UNICEF Ethiopia, Country Office, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Abibakar S. Ismail, Somali Regional Health Bureau, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Mohamed Ayanle, Somali Regional Health Bureau, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Opiyo Nixon, UNICEF Somali Region, UNICEF Ethiopia, Jijiga, Ethiopia
Hadis M. Diriye, Somali Regional Health Bureau, Jijiga, Ethiopia


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Abstract

Background: The health system in Ethiopia’s Somali Region is weak with limited number of health facilities with more than 60% of the population living more than 5 km to the nearest health facilities. The deployment of mobile health and nutrition teams has played critical role in providing essential health and nutrition services.

Aim: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the mobile health and nutrition strategy in providing health and nutrition services in the targeted woredas (districts).

Setting: Somali Region of Ethiopia.

Methods: The study was a retrospective chart review of the monthly mobile health and nutrition team and the static health facilities in the 29 woredas between April 2019 and March 2020 and the AccessMod analyses for geographical accessibility to health facilities in the region.

Results: 40 (40.4%) out of the 99 woredas in Somali regions have at least 80% of the population living more than 5 km from the nearest health facility out of which 18 (45%) woredas are currently being supported by the mobile health team. The mobile team contributed to increasing access to health services in the targeted woredas with 30.8% of the total children vaccinated for measles and 39% of the total children treated for severe acute malnutrition in the targeted 29 woredas.

Conclusion: With mobile health and nutrition strategy being recognised as a useful strategy to deliver health and nutrition services in the region, there is a need to explore opportunities and innovation to enhance the effectiveness of the implementation.


Keywords

mobile health team; pastoralist; woreda (district); nutrition; strategy

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