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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3613
JournalRural and Remote Health
Volume16
Number of pages11
ISSN1445-6354
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 165656965