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Health Care is a Human Right – It begins with Proper Diagnosis

Posted on 01.06.2018

“An accurate diagnosis is the first step to getting effective treatment,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO. “No one should suffer or die because of a lack of diagnostic services, or because the right tests were not available.”

On May 15th,WHO releases Essential Diagnostics List in recognition that in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are an essential component to advance universal health coverage, address health emergencies, and promote healthier populations. It contains 113 tests of which 58 are basic tests aimed at supporting the diagnosis and monitoring of common conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and anaemia (haemoglobin, blood glucose, complete blood count, urine dipstick etc). The remaining 55 tests are designed for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of “high priority” infections such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus (HPV) and syphilis.

Timely and accurate diagnosis is fundamental to achieving quality patient-centred care and has myriad benefits beyond individuals including enabling rapid detection of disease outbreaks and reducing the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

“Our aim is to provide a tool that can be useful to all countries, to test and treat better, but also to use health funds more efficiently by concentrating on the truly essential tests,” said Mariangela Simao, a WHO assistant director-general.

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