Program Profile
Last updated from Access Observatory: 09 Sept 2020

Project ECHO for Cancer Care (South Africa)

Project ECHO™ (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a life-long learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty-care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO™ model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge sharing networks, led by expert teams who use multi-point videoconferencing to conduct “virtual clinics” with community providers. In this way, community based specialists, primary care doctors, nurses, and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their communities.

Recognizing the need for primary care providers and community based cancer specialists in rural or remote settings to manage and treat their complex patients in their own communities, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is providing funding to both the ECHO Institute to apply the ECHO model to cancer in the US and South Africa, and also, through its Secure The Future program, providing funding to Kimberly District Hospital to undertake a comprehensive community cancer care project that will deploy the Project ECHO™ telementoring and collaborative care model to upskill healthcare providers in cancer care and also strengthen the continuum of care across community and hospital based providers.

Project ECHO™ enables expert specialist teams to mentor community specialists and primary care providers through “virtual clinics,” which helps local clinicians learn to treat patients with complex conditions in their own communities. A community health worker program will also be developed to further expand access to appropriate care in rural areas.This initiative aims to improve the quality and performance of health workforce, strengthen the capacity of local health care systems and demonstrate the utility of the ECHO model as an efficient approach to improve access to quality health care.

There are 2 parts to Project ECHO for Cancer Care – South Africa:

  1. Broad sharing, training in and utilization of the ECHO model as a tool to strengthen cancer prevention, treatment and care services in South Africa;
  2. Implementation pilot of the ECHO model as a training, education and collaborative care tool in support of the goals and activities of the BMS Foundation/Secure the Future Kimberly Hospital Complex cancer project which is focused on lung, breast and cervical cancers.

Please see Secure the Future – South Africa Northern Cape-Kimberly Hospital Complex in the AA Observatory:

The data for this program has been reviewed by both the companies and the Access Observatory team.

Access Accelerated in Action articulates the six cross-cutting principles that underpin the initiative’s commitment to strengthening NCD programs.

Through a series of 19 case studies, the report examines how member companies have incorporated these principles into their programmatic work.

Read the full report here.