Building health care capacity in India and Vietnam

Throughout Asia, many patients have difficulty receiving the health care services they need to manage chronic or complex diseases – such as tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C, cancer, diabetes, and mental health conditions – in part due to a lack of trained health care professionals.1

In underserved areas across Asia, much of the health care workforce is composed of primary care providers, community health workers, and other grassroots health networks that focus mainly on basic primary care.2 These frontline health workers require ongoing training and skills-building to offer consistent and high-quality care for patients with complex diseases.

The Merck Foundation made a $7 million, five-year (2017–2022) commitment to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to support the expansion of  ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) programs  in India and Vietnam to help improve access to preventive and specialty care for people living in remote or underserved areas.


1 World Health Organization. Global Atlas of the Health Workforce. https://www.who.int/workforcealliance/knowledge/resources/hrhglobalatlas/en/

2 World Health Organization. Regional strategy on strengthening health workforce education and training in South-East Asia Region (2014-2019). http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/160761/1/SEA-HSD-379.pdf