Expanding ECHO’s Reach in Latin America Through New Programs and Partnerships

People posing on steps holding up certificates.

In 2023, we saw tremendous growth in the adoption of Project ECHO across Latin America, including our first partners in Peru and Bolivia.

In parallel, the existing ECHO network grew stronger. Through a new monthly virtual collaboration series hosted by the ECHO Institute, our regional partners were able to connect, share and learn from one another – inspiring future ECHO partners to join the movement. We also welcomed new partnerships with national institutions in Honduras and in Mexico with the National Institute for Psychiatry and the National Institute for Medical Sciences.

With a strong regional network, our partners are positioned to provide localized, culturally appropriate ECHO training and support to address the region’s complex needs and rural footprint.

Physicians participating in an ECHO meeting

Expanding Mental Health Care in Colombia

Across Latin America, behavioral health, including mental health and substance use disorders, have historically been deprioritized. In Colombia, a Project ECHO program is working to make a change in one of the country’s most rural regions.

In Chocó and La Guajira, where only two mental health facilities exist, ECHO is used to train primary care providers how to diagnose and treat patients in need of mental health, neurological and substance-use care.

Based on the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Gap Action Program, aimed at strengthening mental health access in low- and middle-income countries, this ECHO program is an important collaboration between the Pan American Health Organization, the Ministry of Health and the national technology and research network (RENATA).

Collaborative decision-making, among a group of experts, brings peace of mind, satisfaction and support to providers who may feel isolated, especially in rural areas.”

Dr. Josefina Pagés

Hepatology, Hospital Universitario Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina