Jimma University (JU) higher officials and Korea Foundation for International Healthcare-Jimma University- Jimma Zone Health Office Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH) project team visit solar panels, maternal waiting area construction, water supply maintenance, and health information system strengthening at Odo Hidheta health center in Jimma Zone. The visitors included among others Dr. Jemal Abafita, President of Jimma University, Mr. Kora Tushune V/president for Business and Development, Dr. Elias Ali and Mr. Fikadu Balcha – KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project management unit member, staff members from KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project and Jimma Zone Health office, and district administrator.
KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project is JU based project established in 2015 that works on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health. The project works in four districts of Jimma Zone: Dedo, Mancho, Omo-Nada, and Omo-Beyam. Since its establishment KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project has been working with Jimma University and Jimma Zone Health Office mainly on six building blocks of health system: (1) developing leadership, management and governance capacity of primary healthcare unit management team, (2) training health officers, nurses and midwives on basic emergency obstetric care, (3) training health information staff of health centers on data management, (4) upgrading the infrastructure of health centers by installing solar panels and developing water source, (5) supplying health centers with drugs and medical equipment, motorbikes for outreach activities, computers and printers for health information system, and (6) designing and disseminating radio messages on maternal and child health.
Currently, the project is constructing maternal waiting area with all facilities such as kitchen, and bathrooms to encourage institutional delivery. Prior to this, there is a functional waiting area which is constructed by the communities themselves.
The project has also installed solar panels to improve the quality of the services delivered at this health center to support with different technologies. With the solar panels, the health center uses energy obtained for light, refrigeration, autoclave, sterilizers and for other materials that require electric power to operate. The community reported that the installation of solar panel has improved the quality of the services they are receiving. They also indicated that pregnant women got laboratory services beside the routine antenatal care and this has a great contribution in early detection of medical problems. Mr. Fikadu Girma, head of the health center and his team member Mr. Reta witnessed that receiving the training given by KOFIH simplified their reporting system and helped them to process data by using technology to report timely. At the occasion it was reported that the KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project has a plan to construct water pipe for ten health centers, and at Odo Hidheta it is maintaining the existing water source.
JU’s President, Dr. Jemal Abafita, appreciated the efforts made by the community at the vicinity for their engagement in making the project achieve successes, and encouraged the community to own and protect the projects constructed so far from damages to make use of them in a sustainable way.. At the occasion, Mr. Kora Tushune, V/president for Business and Development, addressed that the University is giving high attention to serving the community as it is one of the pillars of the institution. He added that the University is looking for more collaborators to further improve the services given at the health center to give a better maternal care. The district administrator and the head of the Health Center indicated that they are very grateful for what KOFIH-JU-JZHO MNCH project has been doing for them, and they promised that the community would work closely with this project to ensure sustainability.