Enhancing Children's HIV Outcomes (ECHO) exists to save and enhance the lives of children affected by HIV in South Africa.
Our main goals are to scale-up paediatric HIV care; improve the quality of care and ensure sustainability of services through strengthening the public health system.
ECHO run a range of services that provide support, information and representation for infants, children and adolescents infected or affected by HIV. Through our work, we aim to improve HIV prevention, enable early diagnosis and provide comprehensive training and support to the many healthcare workers we are involved with.
ECHO’s multidisciplinary approach to paediatric HIV complements clinical personnel with psychologists, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists and lay counselors. We also value our close liaison with allied health professionals including physiotherapists, speech therapists and hearing therapists who can play a vital role in the care of our children.
ECHO’s core activities include: • supporting the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) program; • supporting the scale-up of early infant diagnosis of HIV-exposed children; • supporting the scale-up the treatment of HIV-infected children; • providing theoretical and practical training in the comprehensive management of HIV-infected children; • advocating for the rights of HIV-infected and affected children; and to • conducting operational and clinical research to improve the management and outcomes of HIV-infected children.
ECHO currently assists the South African Department of Health to provide care for over 10,000 children on antiretroviral therapy through a network of mobile clinical support teams and outreach programmes. These teams currently work in 3 South African provinces, Gauteng, North West and Limpopo.
ECHO directly supervises the paediatric HIV outpatient services at both the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (Harriet Shezi Children’s Clinic) in Soweto and Coronation Women and Children’s Hospital (Empilweni Clinic) in Johannesburg.