First List of Essential Diagnostics Could Make a Big Impact

Alyssa GovindanNews Around Global Health

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics. The list contains approximately 115 lab tests that the WHO believes should be provided under every health care system.  Because testing varies so greatly from country to country, experts hope this list will help standardize how diagnoses are made across the globe.

Late and inaccurate diagnoses can lead to serious complications and increased health costs.  Some of these complications can arise from doctors prescribing antibiotics or other drugs without diagnoses which can also contribute to antimicrobial resistance.

Many of the tests on the list focus on high priority diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, Hep B, Hep C, HPV and syphilis. There are also 58 tests that can detect a wide range of common conditions from urine and blood samples.

Since developing countries often do not have the resources to accurately diagnose patients, the panelists who created the list hope it eventually drives down costs of equipment and facilities, the way that the WHO list of essential medicines ultimately did years ago.

photo credit: WHO

Alyssa GovindanFirst List of Essential Diagnostics Could Make a Big Impact