ECHO began in Africa in 2015.  The very first ECHO program was launched by the Namibia Ministry of Health (MOH) to rapidly expand the capacity to treat HIV/AIDs. At the beginning there were just three highly trained HIV experts in Namibia, now there are hundreds. Today the ECHO network in Africa includes over 300 organizations in 41 countries who are running ECHO programs with learners in 54 countries.  These organizations are using ECHO to expand the capacity to treat many diseases and chronic health conditions and strengthen the health care system to improve patient care and deliver essential public health functions.  ECHO Is also beginning to be used to build needed capacities in Education as well

As a part of the ECHO COVID-19 Global Response Project, in collaboration with AFREhealth, Stellenbosch University (SU) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) propose to establish and operate two ECHO higher education virtual community of practice (vCOP) learning hubs. One ECHO Hub will be run by SU and the other by UKZN.  

The purpose of these hubs is facilitate discussion with other institutions that have Health Science faculties/schools, and other health professional training schools, about the development, implementation and management of personal and professional coping and wellbeing strategies in the context of COVID-19 and future pandemics with respect to management and administration, teaching and learning, research, clinical training and self-care. 

To achieve this purpose, the project will be run collaboratively between UKZN, SU and AFREhealth. Jointly, the collaborators plan to develop a number of inter-professional communities of practice in relation to the institutional response to a pandemic. The aim is for academics, clinical educators, administrators and managers to learn from and support one another, and to use the learning networks to develop resources that will be available to colleagues at health professions education institutions. 

The initial geographic focus of the UKZN and SU higher education ECHO hubs will be South Africa. Over time the plan is to extend to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which includes South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Eswatini and Lesotho. AFREhealth will also work closely with UKZN and SU to raise awareness of the two ECHO higher education hubs with all AFREhealth member institutions.

About us

The African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) is an interprofessional health grouping that seeks to work all stakeholders interested in health profession education , research and service delivery to improve the quality of health care in Africa through research, education and capacity building. It is a conglomerate of individuals, institutions, associations and networks from all the geographic and linguistic regions of Africa namely Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and Arabophone. Read More...

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School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

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