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Original Research

Developing and sustaining human resources in the health supply chain in Ethiopia: barriers and enablers

Submitted: 29 May 2015
Revised: 22 December 2015
Accepted: 11 February 2016
Published: 3 August 2016

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Author(s) : Kälvemark Sporrong S, Traulsen JM, Damene Kabtimer W, Mekasha Habtegiorgis B, Teshome Gebregeorgise D, Essah NAM, Khan SA, Brown AN.

Andrew Brown

Citation: Kälvemark Sporrong S, Traulsen JM, Damene Kabtimer W, Mekasha Habtegiorgis B, Teshome Gebregeorgise D, Essah NAM, Khan SA, Brown AN.  Developing and sustaining human resources in the health supply chain in Ethiopia: barriers and enablers. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2016; 16: 3613. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=3613 (Accessed 25 September 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  The health supply chain is often the weakest link in achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals and universal health coverage, requiring trained professionals who are often unavailable. In Ethiopia there have been recent developments in the area of health supply chain management. The aim of this study was to explore the current status of the development of human resources in health supply chain management in Ethiopia and to identify important factors affecting this development.
Methods:  A series of face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders was carried out in 2014. The interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. The interview guide comprised 51 questions. A qualitative analysis of transcripts was made.
Results:  A total of 25 interviews were conducted. Three themes were identified: General changes: recognition, commitment and resources, Education and training, and Barriers and enablers. Results confirm the development of human resources in health supply chain management in many areas. However, several problems were identified including lack of coordination, partly due to the large number of stakeholders; reported high staff mobility; and a lack of overall strategy regarding the job/career structures necessary for maintaining human resources. Rural areas have a particular set of problems, including in transportation of goods and personnel, attracting and keeping personnel, and in communication and access to information.
Conclusions:  Ethiopia is on the way to developing a nationwide viable system for health supply chain management. However, there are still challenges. Short-term challenges include the importance of highlighting strategies and programs for human resources in health supply chain management. In the long term, commitments to financial support must be obtained. A strategy is needed for the further development and sustainability of human resources in the health supply chain in Ethiopia.

Key words: Ethiopia, health supply chain management, human resources, medicines.

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