Jamaica Neurodevelopmental Surveillance in the Age of Zika ECHO Evaluation
The Jamaica Neurodevelopmantal Surveillance in the Age of Zika ECHO (Jamaica NDS ECHO) is a partnership between the Jamaica Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), an evidence-based telementoring program that brings together, through basic video technology, healthcare professionals and multidisciplinary specialists to create communities of learners around specific topics of interest and need. From March 2019-July 2019, a team of experts including developmental and behavioral pediatric medicine specialists from the AAP and MOHW leaders provided support and guidance to a group of master trainers responsible for disseminating information about neurodevelopmental surveillance to health facilities throughout Jamaica. The program’s end goals were to improve use of updated protocols and tools designed to strengthen the knowledge and skills needed for appropriate neurodevelopmental-related surveillance, referral, and education.
AAP conducted evaluation activities throughout Jamaica NDS ECHO implementation to assess participation, participant experience, learner self-reported changes in knowledge and self-efficacy and program impacts at the individual client and larger systems levels. Evaluation results highlight the positive impacts and outcomes of Jamaica NDS ECHO. Through each evaluation component, participants reported high satisfaction with Jamaica NDS ECHO as well as the ECHO model and demonstrated self-reported gains in knowledge and efficacy regarding key aspects of neurodevelopmental surveillance, including earlier intervention and referral. Participants, empowered with enhanced knowledge and skills, spoke with confidence about their ability to train others to more appropriately assess, intervene and refer regarding neurodevelopmental concerns. Jamaica NDS ECHO met objectives and provided an innovative and impactful learning experience for participants that merits continuation.