The Ethiopian National eHealth Strategy and its Alignment with the Health Informatics Curriculum

  • Binyam Tilahun Institute for Medical Informatics University of Münster http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1813-167X
  • Atinkut Zeleke Department of Health Informatics, University of Gondar
  • Mengistu Kifle Public Health Infrastructure Directorate, Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa
  • Fleur Fritz Institute of Medical Informatics, University of Münster

Abstract

Background: Many countries have developed eHealth strategies based on the WHO and ITU eHealth strategy toolkit. However, the success of the strategy, which appears to influence the diffusion of eHealth systems, is mainly dependent on the availability of skilled health informaticians at all levels. The purpose of this paper is therefore to review the Ethiopian eHealth strategy draft with respect to expertise requirements and to compare it with the graduate profile of the only bachelor in health informatics program in Ethiopia.

Methods: A comparative analysis of the eHealth strategy with the curriculum of the bachelor in health informatics program was done. In the analysis, we identify the main focus areas of the eHealth strategy and compare its coverage in the academic and practical competency areas of the curriculum.

Results: The eHealth strategy identifies five main areas of priorities for health information system implementations. They are: Health information systems, Telemedicine, mHealth, eLearning (for health workforce training) and community information systems. The curriculum contains 62 ECTS courses directly related to those areas. Additionally, the curriculum contains 89 ECTS for strategic and communication level skills, 108 ECTS for technical level skills, and 50 ECTS for monitoring and evaluation level skills.

Conclusions: The eHealth strategy expertise and the curriculum are well aligned, especially regarding the technical level skills. The department and the ministry must work together so that the students get practical experiences of all the courses during their study.

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Author Biography

Binyam Tilahun, Institute for Medical Informatics University of Münster

Research Associate

References

Vital wave consulting, “Health Information Systems in Developing Countries,” Vital wave Consult. no. May, p. 69, 2009.

WHO and ITU, “National eHealth Strategy Toolkit,” WHO Libr. Cat. data, vol. W26, no. 5, 2012.

N. ELIAS, “Special bulletin,” MOH Spec. Bull., vol. 15th Annual, no. 15, pp. 43–46, 2013.

N. Framework, “mHealth in Ethiopia Strategies for a New Framework,” MOH Publ., vol. 6, no. 1, 2011.

M. Engida and M. Kifle, “eHealth Strategy 2013-2015,” 15th Annu. Rev. Meet. Spec. Bull., vol. 6, pp. 43–47, 2013.

B. Tilahun, A. Zeleke, F. Fritz, and D. Zegeye, “New bachelors degree program in health informatics in Ethiopia: curriculum content and development approaches.” Stud. Heal. Technol. pp. 798–802, 2013.

C. Hamilton, “The WHO-ITU national eHealth strategy toolkit as an effective ap-proach to national strategy development and implementation.” Stud. Health Technol. Inform., vol. 192, pp. 913–6, Jan. 2013.

Published
2015-02-27
How to Cite
Tilahun, B., Zeleke, A., Kifle, M., & Fritz, F. (2015). The Ethiopian National eHealth Strategy and its Alignment with the Health Informatics Curriculum. Journal of Health Informatics in Africa, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.12856/JHIA-2014-v2-i2-100