China World Technology Medical Equipment Service Group
To address the lack of access to testing and testing services in many countries, WHO has released a list of essential diagnostic methods every year since 2018. It is a recommended basket of in vitro diagnostic methods that should be available in health care sites and laboratories in all countries to improve timely diagnosis and save lives.
Includes two new items
There are two new additions to this year’s list:
Includes three hepatitis E virus testing kits, including a rapid test to help diagnose and monitor hepatitis E virus infection; and
Incorporation of home glucose monitoring devices and current diabetes care recommendations is recommended.
Outbreaks and sporadic cases of hepatitis E occur around the world. Most patients will fully recover, but a small proportion (up to 4%) develop acute liver failure, with higher rates of liver failure in pregnant women (mortality rates, 19.3%-63.6%). There is a problem of underreporting of hepatitis E infection. Making these new diagnostic tools available will help governments control the outbreak.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that caused 1.5 million deaths in 2019. The incidence rate is higher in low- and middle-income countries and the impact is greater. The consequences of diabetes can be avoided or delayed through diet, physical activity, medication, and regular blood sugar monitoring. Including personal blood glucose testing devices in the list of essential diagnostic methods can improve disease management and reduce negative impacts.
The List of Essential Diagnostics is not mandatory, but it can provide a policy framework that enables countries to make informed decisions on their own lists of essential diagnostic tools, thereby helping countries develop plans to improve access to in vitro diagnostics. It is expected that governments can use this list to improve national in vitro diagnostic testing services, increase access to diagnostic tools, and improve patient outcomes.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the rapid development and global deployment of diagnostic tools early in the pandemic was critical to tracking the spread of the virus, detecting, isolating and treating infected people, and protecting high-risk groups. The WHO Essential Diagnostics List is an important tool that provides countries with evidence-based recommendations, guides local decision-making, and ensures that health workers and patients have access to the most important and reliable diagnostic methods.
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