ECHO, a solution for limited cancer specialist medical workers

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Nurse talking with woman with cancer. (Source: Healthline)

Jakarta, IO – Cancer remains one of the top three non-communicable diseases worldwide, in terms of prevalence and death rate, along with cardiac arrest and stroke. According to Globocan 2020, Indonesia has reported 396,914 new cancer cases this year, with 234,511 deaths attributable to neoplasms. We note the discrepancy between the number and distribution of specialized cancer treatment service facilities and the number of patients, not to mention a highly-restricted number of cancer-specialist medical experts available: these limitations remain the biggest challenge in cancer treatment for Indonesians. 

Dharmais Cancer Hospital, University of Indonesia (“UI”) Faculty of Nursing Sciences, and the Indonesian Oncology Nurses Association (Himpunan Perawat Onkologi Indonesia – “Himponi”) collaborates with Roche Indonesia in the running of the ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) telementoring project. This innovative telementoring model connects medical workers in the regions (the “spokes”) with specialists in medical referral centers (the “hub”), so that regional medical workers and facilities can treat patients directly, without having to unnecessarily refer them to bigger centers. 

Starting in 2021, the ECHO Program set a target of establishing 10 “cancer treatment hubs” throughout Indonesia, connected by 100 regional hospitals, as their “spokes” by 2024. 

“Above and beyond improving treatment methods of cancer and the capacity of medical workers in hospitals across the country, we notice that this multi-party collaboration is crucial for the development of national cancer treatment. ECHO Telementoring is meant to do exactly that – developing better cancer treatment ecosystems throughout all of Indonesia’s regions,” declared dr. Soeko W. Nindito, MARS, Dharmais Cancer Hospital’s President Director, in a media meet held in Jakarta last Wednesday (02/11/2022).