Roche and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have partnered to improve and strengthen the diagnostic capability and pandemic preparedness in low- and middle-income countries fighting HIV and tuberculosis (TB).
Tuberculosis affects an estimated 2 billion people worldwide, with LMICs accounting for 95 percent of TB deaths. Over 6 million persons living with HIV are undiagnosed worldwide, out of a total of more than 37 million. Many HIV and TB initiatives have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with HIV testing rates decreasing by 22% and an additional 100 000 tuberculosis deaths expected in LMICs by 2020. 1,2
Roche and the Global Fund have partnered to improve HIV and tuberculosis detection in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by strengthening local ability to address key infrastructural concerns such as generating and delivering diagnostic findings and controlling healthcare waste.
“Roche is excited to join forces with the Global Fund and their partners to support countries in developing critical diagnostic networks in the global fight against HIV and TB. Connecting our experts with critical local stakeholders, we are aiming to help build sustainable solutions that could be scaled across countries.”Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics.
This entails developing efficient processes for collecting, transporting, testing, and returning samples to patients for prompt clinical interventions, as well as overcoming obstacles such as a lack of network infrastructure, workforce capacity, road access, and IT systems. The collaboration will also involve creative techniques to reduce the environmental and economic burden of healthcare waste generated throughout the testing process, as well as the disposal of instruments and medical devices at the end of their useful lives.
“Getting people to test for HIV and TB is fundamental to containing transmission and enrolling people on treatment, which are crucial steps to saving lives and ending these diseases as public health threats. We are pleased to partner with Roche in expanding access to diagnostics tools for HIV and TB. These efforts will strengthen the fight against these diseases and help the world prepare better for future pandemics.”Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
Roche will first support assessments and implementation of new technologies and knowledge transfer in 2 to 3 pilot countries, with the goal of scaling up and expanding support to 10 countries over the next five years, in collaboration with the Global Fund, Ministries of Health, and country-based partners.
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