Health Camps

Strengthening Programmatic Excellence And Empowering Our Staff

By Natalya Nepomnyashcha

eHealth Africa (eHA) held its first ever Global Programs Conference in our Kano office. 50 participants from 6 offices and three continents represented 5 programmatic pillars as well as over 30 different projects in 10 countries.

The main conference goals were:

  • To promote knowledge sharing among various program teams and offices

  • To provide in-person training on people and process management

  • To promote a common understanding of eHA's mission, values, and resources

  • To spend time together growing, and collaborating better as a team

Together as a team, we looked back at our first project in Nigeria, a Maternal Health project in Kaduna, to our first entry into combating Polio, to our regional impact during the Ebola outbreak. We went further to discuss our current endeavors such as expanding the team in the Lake Chad region and the GIS GRID project that will map all states in Nigeria.


This conference was a great opportunity to highlight our integrated approach of connecting data, insight, and execution. As a team, we discussed the previously identified guiding principles in determining the eHA best project fit, which are:

  1. Can we do it better than anyone else in the space?

  2. Is it driven primarily by our beneficiaries?

  3. Is it transformational?

The conference was held from May 17-21, 2017. Day one of the conference was focused on knowledge sharing. The teams had the opportunity to share and present various  projects, results, and impact to one another, be it Health Camp, electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance, and Response (eIDSR), or Vaccine Direct Delivery.

“My personal highlight was seeing the Health Camps boxes, a project in Nigeria. I didn’t know that eHA was testing the items. We also collected data to determine what needs to be in the boxes. It’s such an integrated model” - Dayo Spencer-Walters, Deputy Country Director, Sierra Leone


Day two was focused on people development. We showcased our interest and love for investing in and developing our greatest asset, our people. The conference participants attended a professional management training, where they learned about the importance of delegation and effective communication amongst other topics discussed.

No eHA conference would be complete without learning about the proper use of data and maps. On the final day, participants received very insightful in-house session on how data and maps can be used practically to allow for an evidence-based and timely decision-making.

At eHA, we understand and emphasize the importance of balancing work and life, hence we allocated some of the conference time to attending fun dinners with the team and participating in a slew of games such as trivia night.

The evaluation showed that the conference helped eHA staff to grow professionally, personally, and as a team:

  • Almost 90% said the conference made them more excited to work for eHA

  • 94% thought the conference provided content for personal and professional growth

As a result, participants not only received input on how to grow as managers, and gained insight into various projects - the group grew much closer as a team and will be able to represent our core values at a new level.

Impact & Quality // Innovative Problem-Solving // Passion // Honesty // Growth & Learning // Ownership

Are you interested in joining eHA? Have a look at our current job openings. We look forward to your applications!


Health Camps: Enhancing Access To Healthcare in Kano State

By Daniel Ojabo

Some areas of northern Nigeria still do not have consistent access to healthcare. This is mainly due to the lack of health facilities in remote areas, and the inability of local populations to access transportation to functioning primary healthcare centers.


Health Camps (HC), a demand-creation intervention, was birthed to fill this gap by working with government partners to supplement monthly polio vaccination campaigns (Immunization Plus Days) with essential medicines. It also serves as a means to address persistent cases of refusal of polio vaccines by heads of households.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, eHealth Africa (eHA) has supported the Kano State Ministry of Health as an implementing partner. We procure, package and distribute medications across the 44 Local Government Areas (LGA) in the State.

By the end of 2016, eHA had distributed 82,452 HC boxes across over 27,000 settlements in Kano; up from 34,188 HC boxes delivered in 2014. In September 2016, to ensure that the National Guidelines of Malaria testing before treatment were met, Rapid Diagnostics Test (RDT) Kits were introduced to the HC boxes. RDTs permit a rapid, accurate, and accessible detection of malaria parasites, particularly in remote areas with limited access to health facilities. This exercise has promoted a more rational use of increasingly costly drugs, through enabling health workers to distinguish between fevers caused by malaria parasites from those caused by other illnesses.

“Last year, we recorded increased cases of malaria in the state. So, the Kano State government provided some rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria. ”

— Dr. Kabir Ibrahim Getso, Commissioner For Health, Kano State.


Each HC box contains supplies for 100 people. These supplies include RDTs, and medicines to treat malaria, tapeworms, ulcers, diarrhea, scabies, and other diseases. Trained community health workers administer RDTs for malaria and prescribe corresponding medications. In cases where the diagnosis are advanced, the beneficiaries are referred to the nearest health center.

eHA procures and packages over 2,000 HC boxes for every Immunization Plus Day (IPD) campaign. Since 2014, over 5 million people have benefited from HCs; including 2.2 million children under the age of 5. This initiative has also seen 3.6 million cases of malaria diagnosed and treated, which is around 70 percent of total patients serviced since inception.  

“We found out that a lot of people were voluntarily bringing out their children to accept the vaccination, getting an opportunity to also treat minor ailments which the Health Camps were designed to basically address.”

— Dr. Ahmed Suleiman Haladu, State Lead Polio CDC-NSTOP

After more than two years without wild poliovirus in Nigeria, the Government reported in August 2016 that 2 children had been paralyzed by the disease in the northern Borno state. The cases highlighted the need to prioritize immunization of children particularly, in hard-to-reach areas in northern Nigeria. In the last quarter (Oct. Dec.) of 2016 alone, over 480 thousand children were Immunized with Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) at HCs. The significant progress and achievements in the past couple of years, have been due to the high level of political commitment and leadership. Traditional community leaders have also provided credibility to the project by openly promoting and encouraging community members to attend HCs.

“We are making all efforts to ensure that the government reaches everywhere for people to understand the mission behind this program.”

— Alhaji Ja’afaru Ahmed Gwarzo, Sarkin Tsafta, Kano Emirate Council.

Enhanced Health Camp Training


Since answering the call in 2014 from the Kano State Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC), eHealth Africa (eHA) is a regular partner for driving Health Camp support for Immunization Plus Days (IPDs, which take place in Kano State’s 44 Local Government Areas (LGAs). As part of the National Polio Eradication Program in Nigeria, eHA is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What are Health Camps?

Health Camps were created and incorporated into IPDs with the goal of incentivizing community members to receive polio vaccinations for their children, aged 0-5 years. The incentive was created by providing free medicines through health camp boxes, as well as free consultations with a community health worker. If the consultation results in a health need that goes beyond the scope of the health box, the patient is referred to a hospital for needed treatment.

Health Camp workers are a valuable and sustainable resource for Nigeria’s health infrastructure. Having properly trained clinicians and assistant clinicians working in close partnership with local health workers contributes substantially to obtaining more practical, effective, and culturally relevant health care delivery systems at a community level.

Enhanced Health Camp Training


Because of the importance of the health care worker in the efficiency of Health Camps for their local communities, eHA is designing the Enhanced Health Camp Training as an intensive and engaging learning environment to increase the skills and teamwork of health workers.  The target audience of the training program will include Local Government Immunization Officers, Essential Drug Officers, and community health workers (clinicians and assistant clinicians).

eHA's community health trainers will facilitate the training, alongside Kano state’s EOC partners. This new enhanced training will be implemented in a series of graduated steps that, when completed will instill confidence and ensure a smooth performance of the health camp workers.

The Training Curriculum


To create the Enhanced Health Camp Training, eHA staff will begin by identifying the health needs, priorities, and resources from the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, other partner organizations, and communities themselves. These requirements will then be translated into a curriculum which will be used by trainers, and will create an evaluation process measuring the outcome of the training.

The training program is anticipated to be conducted once, before the March IPD round, to last four days: one day for hand-off training of curriculum for trainers themselves, one day for training at the state level, and a two-day LGA level training during the 2016 IPD months.

An important goal in creating this training is ensuring it covers the comprehensive needs of the EOC. That is why EOC leadership will play a crucial role in spearheading the training and direct it toward solving local needs at the EOCs.  

The expectation on data following the training is that the quality of Health Camp data will increase. This increase in quality should go hand in hand with a reduction in human factor data errors, reducing the rate of data cleaning required per round.

Enhanced Training for Better Results


Expanding the knowledge and skills of Health Camp workers to assume more responsible roles in primary health care programs is a productive and rewarding experience for the trainees, for other health professionals, and for community members. Most Health Camp workers have many years of experience tending to family members health problems. They are dedicated to serving their patients and are eager to expand their skills in providing better healthcare to communities. The Enhanced Health Camp Training will build upon the wealth of knowledge and experience staff already possess.

The training will also help facilitate the expanded scope of eHA, and initiate direct contact with Health Camp workers in all LGAs, providing a tool to give regular field feedback. Enhancing the role of these practitioners and promoting closer collaboration between them and medical community offers new hope for improving the overall health of individuals and families through sustainable primary health care programs in Africa.

A Strong Partnership: Kano State and eHealth Africa


The Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board renovation project provides the right facilities for staff to deliver crucial primary health care interventions across Kano State.

eHealth Africa (eHA) is finalizing a project with the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB), Dr. Muhammed Nasir Mahmoud, to renovate and upgrade the KSPHCMB’s Offices in Kano, Nigeria.

eHA worked for one month with the KSPHCMB to renovate the building and outside areas. Internet, solar panels, electricity and other facilities were added to provide a better work environment for the Executive Secretary and over 50 staff working for the KSPHCMB. “I believe if one has a conducive environment to work in with the right equipment, tools, and facilities, there should be no reason for people not to work effectively,” said Dr. Mahmoud.


Dr. Mahmoud, has been in the role for over six months, and has seen a real difference in how stakeholders and visitors now see the board’s work through the building’s renovations. He manages the day to day activities of the KSPHCMB, and also oversees the activities of 1,143 Healthcare Facilities in 44 Local Government Areas of Kano State.

“When I came, the place had a lot of issues and was dilapidated,” said Dr. Mahmoud. “The renovations have built up KSPHCMB’s portfolio and general standing in the community. People come here everyday now, and are always impressed with the changes they see, which makes me proud to head this organisation.”

"Today’s world is a technological world, and without technology people will continue to be disadvantaged. I believe the innovations of eHA will continue to benefit us and other sectors in Kano." - Dr. Muhammed Nasir Mahmoud

The renovation project is one component of the joint work and long term partnership between  eHA and the KSPHCMB to improve primary health care in Kano State. Kano State has many challenges in health care delivery because of security issues and physical challenges in reaching remote locations. This results in the most vulnerable segments of society falling severely ill with preventable and treatable diseases including malaria, tapeworms, ulcers and diarrhea.


Collaboration projects between eHA and KSPHCMB include the management and coordination of immunizations across the state, a health communication system (Kano Connect), management of Emergency Operation Centers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tracking, and the implementation of Health Camps linked to monthly Immunization Plus Day (IPD) campaigns. Another collaboration is Vaccine Direct Delivery, which takes vaccines from KSPHCMB cold stores and directly delivers them to rural health facilities.

“I have been partnering with eHealth Africa for many years,” said Dr. Mahmoud,”and we are currently working on signing a MoU to strengthen communication within the primary health care system. I know there are many areas where we will continue to partner with eHA, and I hope we will continue to explore these other areas. Today’s world is a technological world, and without technology people will continue to be disadvantaged. I believe the innovations of eHA will continue to benefit us and other sectors in Kano.”