The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its first “List of Essential Diagnostics”, a catalog of tests needed to diagnose the most common diseases, as well as a number of priority diseases around the world.
The measure was taken to solve the problem of people’s inability to provide diagnostic services so they were not receiving the right treatment.
“Accurate diagnosis is the first step to effective treatment – no one should suffer or die from a lack of diagnostic services or because the right tests are not available,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
It is estimated that 46% of adults with type 2 diabetes have not been diagnosed worldwide, with the risk of serious health complications and higher healthcare costs, said a global agency statement yesterday.
The late diagnosis of infectious diseases such as HIV and TB increases the risk of their spread and complicates the treatment, he said.
The list of essential diagnoses focuses on in vitro tests such as blood and urine tests. In addition, 58 tests are listed for the detection and diagnosis of a wide range of common diseases that form an essential package that can form the basis for patient screening and treatment.
The other 55 tests are designed to detect, diagnose and monitor “priority” diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C virus, human papillomavirus and syphilis, the statement said.
Some tests are particularly useful for primary health care settings where lab services often have few resources and sometimes do not exist.
“Our goal is to provide an instrument that can be useful for all countries, try to do their best, but also use more effective health funds to focus on the really essential evidence,” said Mariângela Simão, Deputy Director-General of WHO access. Medicines, vaccines and medicines.
For each test category, the list of essential diagnostic tests shall specify the type and intended use, the format and, where appropriate, the health care or primary care facilities applicable to the laboratories.
The list also includes links to WHO guidelines or publications and prequalified products.
Similar to the WHO list of essential medicines used for four decades, the list of key diagnostic targets as a benchmark for countries includes updating or developing their own list of key diagnostics.
The WHO will regularly update the list of essential diagnoses. It is also planned to launch a call to add categories to the next edition.
The list will expand significantly in the coming years and include other important areas, including antibiotic resistance, emerging pathogens, neglected tropical diseases and additional noncommunicable diseases, the statement said.
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