eHealth Pilot Program in Bangladesh Digitizes Field Worker Resources

Field workers return from their BKMI orientation with netbooks in hand, ready to use digital information to assist with counseling clients. Photo by Vanessa Mitchell.

The Bangladesh Knowledge Management Initiative (BKMI) launched a three-month eHealth Pilot Program on April 2. The program seeks to strengthen Health, Population and Nutrition (HPN) communication efforts in Sylhet and Chittagong districts by promoting new innovations, creating partnerships and building capacity, for example, by providing digital BCC materials to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare field workers.

As part of the initiative, 300 community-level field workers in Sylhet and Chittagong districts will receive netbooks pre-loaded with an HPN BCC eToolkit and eight eLearning courses to use when counseling clients about family planning (FP), maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and nutrition. The digital resources will also be made available on computers in 42 health complexes, 12 clinics and two Agriculture Information Communication Centers, as well as online.

“The eHealth Pilot Program will play a significant role in enhancing the knowledge of field workers and their behavior change communication (BCC) skills,” stated a government official.

Representatives from USAID, Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs and JHU∙CCP, including BCCP Director and CEO Mohammad Shahjahan and IT/KM Advisor for the USAID Global Health Bureau in the Office of Population & Reproductive Health Margaret D’Adamo and Acting Director of the Office of Population, Health, Nutrition and Education (OPHNE) at USAID/Bangladesh Greg Adams attended the eHealth Pilot Program launch.

The eHealth Pilot Program includes a rigorous research component in order to measure impact and inform scale-up. Evaluation will look for changes in field workers’ knowledge and BCC skills, as well as their clients’ intention to adopt healthier behaviors around FP, MNCH and nutrition.

BKMI supports the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP). The eHealth Pilot is also contributing to the Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, an initiative from the Prime Minister’s office.

BKMI is part of the USAID-funded Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project implemented by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP) in collaboration with BCCP and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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