ETHIOPIA—The Ministry of Health, the Afar Regional Health Bureau, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up to interpret the final Health Resources and Services Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS) report for Afar, Ethiopia.

Other participants in the workshop included the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Union (EU), the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), all of whom provided invaluable assistance and collaboration in advancing healthcare in Afar, Ethiopia.

This workshop took place in Semera-Logoa City on May 1st and 2nd, 2024, and was attended by 55 people from various government agencies and partner groups.

This collaborative initiative focused on validating and evaluating HeRAMS data to improve healthcare decision-making.

The workshop addressed many critical objectives, including diligent data validation and thorough analysis to acquire insight into the region’s healthcare sector.

Transparency was also emphasized, with outlier data points thoroughly analyzed and explained to maintain stakeholder understanding and trust.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Yosef Zeru, a representative from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), emphasized the ministry’s consistent support for HeRAMS implementation in both Tigray and Afar areas, with plans for expansion.

He went on to express gratitude to WHO for its technical assistance and praised the Afar region’s leadership in promoting HeRAMS implementation.

For his part, Mr. Mohammed Abdulkedir, from the Afar Regional Health Bureau, expressed gratitude for the collaborative support received and encouraged sectors and partners to use HeRAMS findings in the next District Plan Preparation to effectively address highlighted gaps.

Dr. Belay Tesfahunegn, WHO Mekel Hub coordinator, underlined WHO’s commitment to assisting health partners through coordination, advocacy, and resource mobilization based on HeRAMS findings.

The workshop emphasized the necessity of continuing the HeRAMS project for continued monitoring and data collection in the region, which is likely to improve healthcare decision-making and strengthen Afar’s health system resilience.

The HeRAMS Initiative aims to provide decision-makers with seamless access to key data on essential health resources and services at the local, regional, and global levels.

Its primary objective is to assist governments in standardizing and regularly collecting, evaluating, and disseminating information about the availability of critical health services and resources, right down to the point of service provision.

Furthermore, it aims to strengthen health information systems by creating, maintaining, routinely updating, and sharing an official master list of health facilities.

HeRAMS is designed to be quickly deployed and adaptable to assist in emergency responses and fragile states. It can smoothly integrate into existing health information systems or work independently, acting as a critical component in both routine and crisis situations.

Its modular architecture and scalability make it an important tool for emergency preparedness and response, strengthening health systems, expanding universal health coverage, and negotiating the complex interplay between humanitarian relief and development activities.

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