15.4.2 Health Sector Development Programme
The Health Sector Development Programme (HSDP) guides the development of national long-term plans in the health sector including those concerning water, sanitation and hygiene. The current programme, HSDP IV, covers the years 2010 to 2015 and is the fourth in a series of five-year programmes. It set targets at the national level for latrine access, household use of water treatment and safe water storage practices, and achievement of open-defecation-free (ODF) status in villages (MoH, 2010).
The Health Extension Programme (HEP) is an innovative community-based primary care system developed under the HSDP. Health Extension Workers deliver community-based antenatal and postnatal care as well as basic health information about WASH (Figure 15.2).
Health Extension Workers (HEWs) are often drawn from the communities they serve. What do you think are the advantages of this?
The HEW will understand the community and its cultural practices and will be better equipped to adapt the health messages to the community’s situation. The HEW is also likely to be trusted by the community as one of their own.