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Development of Health Learning Materials – Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative

Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative health learning materials have been developed for use in three formats:  modules, lecture notes, and manuals.


The Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, as a collaborative health care training program, creates opportunities for Ethiopian teaching staff to work side by side with international experts to develop curricula and learning materials based on local experience. Teachers and professors at the seven Ethiopian partner universities use these materials to train health students, who, in turn, train and manage community health workers.

The universities hold workshops to draft and produce training materials including modules and lecture notes. These resources address life-threatening diseases, longer-term health promotion, and disease prevention activities. Topics have included health care-related issues, infectious diseases, nutrition, maternal and child health, mental health, reproductive health, water and sanitation, risk behavior modification, and others. As of April 2006, EPHTI completed two instruction manuals, 60 training modules, and 100 sets of lecture notes.


Modules are a complete learning package related to a specific topic. They are distributed to degree-seeking students and to the primary health care centers so that health care staff can refer to them as needed, to use as reference materials.

A section on the significance of a particular health problem is included early in the module and is based on current epidemiological and medical data. Case studies are then provided within the module to bring the problem into practical experience.

Core module – The beginning section of the module, includes all essential information needed by the four professional team members, in the clearest possible words. It includes all the relevant information for the topic needed by the team members: signs and symptoms of a problem, how to diagnose it, how to treat it. The core module contains technical language and terminology all team members must know. New and unusual vocabulary words, which are essential for effective team functioning, are included in the glossary.

Satellite module – Smaller, specialty-related components of the module pertaining to one of the four health care worker team members: health officers, nurses, medical lab technicians, and environmental sanitarians. A satellite module is prepared for each category of health personnel, and all information needed to perform that particular role is included in the section. Because the team members' educational backgrounds are often different, great care is taken to tailor a particular satellite module to its audience.

Lecture Notes

Lecture Notes are health learning materials of related discussion points for use by faculty as class lectures, student reading material, and study notes for the students. They are created using the same process as the modules above, except that initial drafts are from a collection of lecture notes from faculty members.


Manuals are related to specific topics and are distributed to students, faculty, and the primary health care team. Manuals contain diagrams and practice skill instructions on a specific health-related skill, such as how to give an injection, how to give a physical exam, how to treat a woman who is pregnant and bleeding.

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