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AFENET Supports the ECHO Project in Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi

AFENET is supporting implementation of Project ECHO in Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi to support continuous quality improvement for HIV rapid testing. Project ECHO® is a platform for practice-based education and training, service delivery, and outcomes research. The Project ECHO® is a hub-and-spoke educational model that allows subject matter experts in any field of concern to share their knowledge with frontline providers in underserved communities.

This model uses cloud-based video teleconferencing capability to deliver a need-based curriculum and to discuss providers concerns or challenges. It is a low-cost, high-impact intervention where experts mentor health workers to manage patient cases. Some of the benefits of this approach include strengthening health providers’ knowledge and skills with treating patients with common, complex conditions in their own communities and reducing travel costs, wait times, and avoidable complications. The knowledge networks consist of regular teleECHO clinics/sessions that bring together inter-disciplinary specialists and has been shown to be a cost-effective method to improve patient care.

Project ECHO model will be accomplished by linking a team of subject matter experts with health workers and is meant to serve as an extension of the basic centralized training model.

In Tanzania, we are working with Health Links Initiative to conduct weekly ECHO sessions for selected health workers involved in HIV rapid testing. Data is collected during the weekly sessions and this will be used to assess knowledge gain and inform corrective actions to be undertaken. 

In Malawi, AFENET is working the Malawi AIDS Counselling and Resource Organization (MACRO) to implement Project ECHO. Currently, team from MACRO are conducting site assessments in selected PEPFAR supported HIV testing sites to evaluate their readiness and also gather data on any gaps that need to be addressed by the project. We supported a team from Malawi Ministry of Health and MACRO to attend a 3 day ECHO Immersion training in India, the training was aimed at equipping these key focal persons with knowledge on how to implement project ECHO.