Ethiopia's health extension program: improving health through community involvement

MEDICC Rev. 2011 Jul;13(3):46-9. doi: 10.37757/MR2011V13.N3.11.


The Health Extension Program is one of the most innovative community-based health programs in Ethiopia. It is based on the assumption that access to and quality of primary health care in rural communities can be improved through transfer of health knowledge and skills to households. Since it became operational in 2004-2005, the Program has had a tangible effect on the thinking and practices of rural people regarding disease prevention, family health, hygiene and environmental sanitation. It has enabled Ethiopia to increase primary health care coverage from 76.9% in 2005 to 90% in 2010.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Community Health Workers / organization & administration*
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Models, Organizational
  • Pregnancy
  • Program Development
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Workforce