The Extension for Community Health Outcome (ECHO) programme has strengthened the capacity of 6,092 health workers from 698 health facilities on HIV, COVID-19, and other disease response in the country.
Prosper Onyekachukwu, the project ECHO lead for the United States CDC-funded Public Health Information Surveillance Solutions and Systems (PHIS3) stated this yesterday during the maiden ECHO Country collaborative meeting organised by PHIS3 in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and other partners.
He said project ECHO which started out as a digital platform for HIV care and service delivery, was re-launched in May 2022 as SPiCE ECHO after PHIS3 took over the implementation.
He said the platform has been used for training incident managers for COVID-19 response across the country, providing technical support for Enhanced Site Monitoring (ESM) in the CDC-supported states and setting up WARE in collaboration with five West African countries, CDC, NCDC, and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) among others.
Dr Azuka Nnaji, West African Regional ECHO WARE coordinator said ECHO was launched by the University of New Mexico in 2003 to build the capacity of health workers so that people in the villages don’t have to travel all the way to the city to see a doctor.
She said the West Africa Regional ECHO programme was launched in February last year at the peak of COVID-19 and has gone beyond COVID-19 to incorporating other diseases of public health importance, including non-communicable diseases.
Dr Fatima Saleh, deputy director prevention programme and Knowledge Management Department of the NCDC, said many staff of the NCDC have been trained via ECHO, adding that ECHO has helped strengthen the country’s health system through strengthening and upskilling the workforce.