UCT Occupational Medicine ECHO project launched

27 Mar 2023
ECHO Project
27 Mar 2023

The UCT Occupational Medicine ECHO was launched recently by the Division of Occupational Medicine. The goal of this ECHO project, the first in Africa, is to develop a training program that builds occupational medicine clinical capacity and provides a community of practice for occupational medical practitioners from Southern Africa and beyond. Aside from medical practitioners from various provinces in South Africa, doctors from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, Ruwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe will attend this monthly capacity building programme. The first session, facilitated by Assoc Prof Shahieda Adams, dealt with silica-related lung disease and featured Emeritus Professor Rodney Ehrlich as the subject matter expert.

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an innovative tele-mentoring program designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together healthcare providers and subject matter experts using videoconference technology, brief lecture presentations, and case-based learning, fostering an “all learn, all teach” approach. The main objectives of the programme are to enable participants to:

Recognise work-related health problems and develop enhanced clinical capacity in their assessment, diagnosis and management

Access support/advice for appropriate management/referral of complex work-related health problems

Develop effective approaches for assessment of impairment, workplace accommodation of impaired workers and return to work strategies

Assist workers to access worker’s compensation systems through improved reporting of occupational diseases and injuries

Prof Mohamed Jeebhay, the head of Occupational Medicine, commented that through this programme UCT will further consolidate its footprint in Africa to build occupational health capacity given the increasing economic activity on the continent. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the need and value that occupational health and safety expertise can contribute towards preparedness in dealing with pandemics of such a nature. 

Further details on the background to the project is provided on the Occupational Medicine webpage.

For further enquiries, you can use the following email: ECHO-OccMed@uct.ac.za