Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI)



The Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI) was formed in 1998 within the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine following a call at the IAS conference in Geneva for high HIV burden countries to set up Centres of Excellence to address the HIV crisis. 

ECI has led the writing of the successful Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grant, in collaboration with the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacology and various departments in the NRMSM.  

ECI has a clear goal of delivering improved care to people living with HIV/AIDS in resource constrained settings through improved research and training of those delivering this care.


What It Offers 

The training component offers: a Diploma in Clinical HIV/AIDS Management,. In order to reach the most rural and distant health care workers, the program was approved as a mixed mode program and adapted to a video-conferenced format. An IT platform was set up in various parts of the province and the course run as a distant-based program, thereby allowing access to the most rural of sites. 


Undergraduate MBChB Curriculum Infusion 

There has been revision of the undergraduate curriculum to ensure a multi-disciplinary approach to managing HIV. Following discussions with the undergraduate medical education committee in 2011, a series of didactic lectures was adapted from ECI’s HIV Diploma programme and included in the Third Year Infectious Diseases Module.


Postgraduate HIV Diploma Programme

25 MEPI-funded Department of Health doctors at strategic rural facilities graduated from ECI’s HIV Postgraduate Diploma program in April 2014. In addition, there is continuing education for clinicians, including:

  • HIV clinical updates conducted for Family Medicine registrars
  • Three-day HIV workshops on ARV therapy for clinicians
  • Clinical HIV symposium presented by MEPI Partners in Mozambique (represented by Doctors Connie Benson and Robert Schooley) and Zimbabwe (Dr Steven Johnson).


Key Highlights: 

ECI’s programs aim at developing the clinical knowledge of undergraduate students and faculty members. ECI has been able to access local and international expertise to share cutting edge information and the most recent developments in the ever growing field of HIV and TB care. The program has been able to mentor clinicians and specialists by providing access to some of the world’s most renown experts in these fields.

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