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Deme Tesfaye

Curative Sub-Process Support Officer

Deme Tesfaye is a Curative Sub-Process Support Officer at Kotebe Heath Centre in Ethiopia.

‘I am the Curative Sub-Process Support Officer and am also the acting Medical Director at Kotebe Health Centre. This is a primary health centre; we deliver services to a catchment area of 44,600 people. There are 161 health workers at different levels, from clinical nurses to surgeons. We also provide community support at the district level in collaboration with the health extension workers. We have around 21 urban health extension workers.

I was working as a health worker for 8 years before joining this health centre two years ago, in total I have been working in the health service for 10 years. I decided to work in health because of my family, they are involved in the teaching service. My father is very engaged in education on health. I became interested in the health sector and in engaging with the community and developed an interest in maternal mortality.

On a day to day basis, I firstly undertake my responsibilities as a health officer in different departments, including emergency and OPD. After that, I am delegated as a Curative Sub-Process Officer to the in-patient department where I help to improve client outcomes by identifying the problem and solving it using a curative sub-process. My role is not only curative but related to prevention such as antenatal services. I work in between the client and the services; when a client has a problem, I help to solve it. I am happy when I can help a client.

In this community, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a big concern, especially in those over 40 years old. In this district, hypertension is most common. We treat both newly diagnosed patients and patients who are improving. Together, health officers and health extension workers undertake outreach to identify people with NCDs and refer them to the health centre for treatment. We also reduce the causes of hypertension and other NCDs by engaging with the community twice a week and increasing their awareness of the causes of hypertension, the causes of diabetes and others. In the last six months, awareness in the community of the symptoms of NCDs and the need to visit the health centre has improved and the health centre has become more focused on NCD clients.

Through the train the trainer approach staff in all departments, including those that aren’t focused on NCDs such as the OPD, triage and antenatal ward have become more aware of NCDs. Through the training, health officers have become more engaged and clients are satisfied. Patients are now screened for NCDs when they enter separate departments such as the OPD rather than only those who enter the NCD department and clients are satisfied with the service.

I think the community has benefitted from this project because a year ago people were not being screened at the community level and the service was more focused on treatment rather than prevention. Now, the quality of NCD treatment has improved and the community has become more interested in using the service, they attend the health centre to be screened without any pressure. This is very important on the community, sub-city, regional and national level for reducing NCDs. The more collaborative the health centre is with the community, the better.’

You can read more about how patients are benefiting from our NCD project in this blog from Novartis.