Technology has greatly impacted the 21st century and modern medicine has not been left behind. The Ministry of Health, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease Program is making use of a New Mexico innovative knowledge transfer solution called ECHO. ECHO is a video conferencing platform that enables clinicians in peripheral health facilities to gain expertise from experts in the national and regional centers. ECHO has a distinct setup with the main site called the hub serving peripheral centers referred to as spokes.
The goal of TB ECHO in Kenya is to increase access to specialist care countrywide by developing professional communities of learning and practice in Kenya. It aims to improve quality patient care; enhance access to technical expertise by peripheral facilities;
improve surveillance of tuberculosis (TB) and Drug resistance TB in both adults and pediatrics and improve diagnostic and management skills in IPT, GeneXpert, pediatric diagnosis and PAL.
ECHO is setup to
- Support Clinical teams at the county leve land lower facilities in MDRTB
- surveillance and care
- Support Dadaab MDRTB treatment centre with patient clinical care
- Provide technical support to the Somali NTP in setting up MDRTB program
- Provide didactic trainings and dissemination of new policies
- Demonstrate hand-on skills necessary in pediatric diagnosis
- Support the initiation and monitoring of patients on new molecules such as Bedaquiline and Delaminid
Since, August 30, 2016, the NTLD Program through its National TB ECHO Coordinating Mechanism brings together, every Monday and Tuesday 8:00am – 9:00am, the TB ECHO program Management Unit; the National clinical team and County clinical teams- Centres of Excellence (CoE). It is through the ECHO video conferencing facilities that Case based learning occurs, and the promotion o best practices and monitoring of outcomes is discussed.
Project ECHO will be a great opportunity for passing knowledge to health care workers in diseases other than tuberculosis. HIV programs, non-communicable diseases and family and child health will benefit immensely from the availability of these equipment and video conferencing facilities.