Elimination of cervical cancer in Latin America (Project ECHO-ELA): lessons from phase one of implementation

Batman et al.

We describe the outcomes of The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes-Elimination of Cervical Cancer in The Americas (ECHO-ELA) program, which was developed as a tri-lateral cooperation between Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson). The program’s purpose is to disseminate strategies for cervical cancer prevention and is structured around the three pillars of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy and the associated 90-70-90 target goals. The target audience includes health authorities from Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as PAHO’s non-communicable disease Focal Points in country offices as well as clinical and public health collaborators. The virtual sessions are held in Spanish for 1.5 hours every month using the ECHO® format. From May 2020 to June 2021, 14 ECHO sessions were held with an average of 74 participants per session (range: 46 – 142). We conducted two anonymous surveys (baseline and follow up) and two focus groups. Respondents stated that the topics they learned the most about included the state of HPV vaccination in the region and strategies for implementing HPV vaccination. Identified needs included support between ECHO sessions and country-specific technical assistance. The ECHO-ELA program provides a forum for increased collaboration between countries in Latin America/ Caribbean and the dissemination of best-practice strategies to reach the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination target goals.

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Original research