Change Agents: ECHO travels, holding dilettante doctors to places where there are none


The ECHO group during a India domicile in Delhi watches Dr Prabhat Kumar Chand from NIHMANS control his weekly sanatorium on shade from Bengaluru.

IT IS 2 pm. Dr Prabhat Kumar Chand, a dilettante traffic with substance-use disorders during a National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru, speaks into a microphone: “Thought, Impulse and Cannabis — that is a subject of contention today. Let’s begin.”

His assembly of 15 encampment medical providers is widespread distant and wide, from Kabul in Afghanistan to Idukki in Kerala, and Dr Chand realises it’s critical that his summary breaks down those distances and reaches a final studious possible.

This is one of India’s 15 clinics underneath ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a judgment of weekly or fortnightly practical clinics that use teleconferencing to overpass a opening in medical resources by regulating a best specialists to strech out to underserved areas. But distinct telemedicine, ECHO clinics do not yield caring directly to patients. Instead, they supply primary medical clinicians — doctors, nurses and other health workers — in remote areas with a believe and support to control formidable cases. Essentially, it brings dilettante caring and believe to areas where there is none.

At a Virtual Knowledge Network Centre on a NIMHANS campus, Dr Chand has changed on to questions. “Which receptor is obliged for cannabis-induced behavioural or psychological symptom?” he asks. Among a initial to respond is a alloy from Kabul, followed by answers from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, Sivasagar in Assam, Idukki in Kerala and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. A minute contention follows.

“These practical clinics assistance yield glorious specialty caring to patients in their possess communities. It a best apparatus to overpass a outrageous diagnosis opening in mental health in India,” says Dr Chand after a meeting. He adds that he and his group have managed to strech out to over 700 medical professionals given NIMHANS became partial of a ECHO devise in 2014.

Project ECHO began in 2003 in New Mexico when Dr Sanjeev Arora, a liver illness dilettante in Albuquerque, US, realised that there were thousands of people in a state of New Mexico with Hepatitis C though with no entrance to diagnosis since there were no specialists where they lived. It’s afterwards that Dr Arora began ECHO, bringing together internal clinicians and specialists by weekly practical clinics.

India’s initial ECHO sanatorium began in 2008 as a partnership between a National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) on handling HIV AIDS patients. Since then, ECHO clinics in a nation have tackled obsession and piece use disorders, mental health, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, liver diseases, cancer screening and prevention, among others.

Many of a best medical institutes in a nation are partial of a ECHO bandwagon. The Tata Memorial Centre, a premier sanatorium for diagnosis and investigate on cancer, has launched an desirous devise to bond 86 hospitals regulating a ECHO platform. The event started on Dec 16 final year and is hold twice a week. “We call it a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The heart is a sanatorium or centre of imagination and spokes are a medical practitioners in farming and underserved areas,” says Dr Sunil Anand, executive executive of a project.

Less than 200 km divided from NIMHANS is a genealogical encampment of Gumballi with a race of only underneath 16,000 people. The encampment has one primary health centre (PHC) where encampment health workers offer immunisation and other simple medical needs. However, over a final one year, interjection to an ECHO sanatorium thousands of kilometres away, a health workers of Gumballi have been delivering a specialised service: screening of cancer during a encampment level. The Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO), a investigate wing of a Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Delhi, has been training medical workers of Gumballi to control cancer screening.

Dr Anand says that when a devise began there in 2015, ICPO staff visited a encampment and supposing 4 days of complete training in cancer showing to PHC workers. “Subsequently, each fortnight, by a practical ECHO clinic, we plead studious cases. If someone in a encampment is screened certain for a disease, they are treated during a Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology in Bengaluru,” he says, adding that 11,342 people in Gumballi have been screened.

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