Health Management, Ethics and Research Module: Introduction

Introduction to Health Management, Ethics and Research Module

The Health Management, Ethics and Research Module brings together three important aspects of your work that underpin the practical activities described in the other Modules of the programme. There are 16 study sessions in this Module covering health management, healthcare ethics and health research.

Some people think of management as the responsibility of senior personnel in an organisation; we may think of the ‘boss’ as the manager. In practice, management is a fundamental part of many jobs, including yours as a Health Extension Worker or Practitioner. You need to plan and organise your work and the activities at your Health Post. You will be coordinating and leading volunteers from your community. You will be implementing health programmes and monitoring their outcomes. All these are aspects of management and they are described and explained in this Module.

Study Session 1 introduces the Module and provides the context by describing the current healthcare delivery system in Ethiopia. Study Sessions 2 to 5 explain the functions and roles of health management in more detail. Study Session 6 covers the practicalities of managing the medical and other supplies at your Health Post.

The next three study sessions are about healthcare ethics. Health service providers at all levels need to be aware of the ethical aspects of their work. Privacy, confidentiality and truthfulness are among the important ethical principles that must be respected in any practitioner-client relationship and need to be kept in mind at all times. Study Session 7 introduces the theory and underlying principles of healthcare ethics. Study Session 8 discusses some of the possible ethical dilemmas and conflicts you might have to face and suggests ways of dealing with them. Study Session 9 focuses on your rights, duties and obligations as a community healthcare worker.

The final section of the Module turns to the topic of health research. An important part of your role is to collect data about the health and wellbeing of the people in your kebele and the environment in which they live. This type of research will enable you and others to identify problems, to plan particular programmes and to assess the impact and effectiveness of any interventions that are made. Study Session 10 introduces the general principles of health research and community surveys and the following two study sessions describe the community survey and community profile in more detail. Study Sessions 13, 14 and 15 move on to the planning, design and methods for other types of small-scale research project that you may wish to undertake in your community at some point in the future.

The final study session in this Module is unlike the others. Study Session 16 is an extended case study about an imaginary Health Extension Worker and is designed to illustrate the management, ethical and research aspects of the role. Its purpose is to draw together these three strands by integrating them into a single story to conclude the Module.