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WHO prioritizes diagnostic tests for global health threats

Collecting blood samples at a medical centre that travels by train across the Krasnoyarsk Territory of Russia to provide care to residents in remote areas.
A blood sample is collected at a Russian medical center. Photo: Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Images

The World Health Organization this week issued a list of must-have diagnostic tools for nations to adopt. They expect the first round of the Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) will encourage manufacturers to boost production of the tests.

Why it matters: Diagnostic tools are the first, key step in ensuring a patient is receiving the correct treatment and in assisting countries in containing and responding to disease outbreaks, but many developing countries do not have access to them.

"Diagnostics are going to be key ... to be able to triage and respond and manage patients when an outbreak happens."
— Jamie Bay Nishi, director, Global Health Technologies Coalition