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Roche collaborates with Global Fund to strengthen critical diagnostics infrastructure

The partnership is focused on helping patients with HIV and TB in low- and middle-income countries

Roche

A new collaboration has been announced between Roche and The Global Fund (The Global Fund) to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.

Roche, through its Global Access Program, and The Global Fund are teaming up to build and reinforce diagnostic capacity and pandemic preparedness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to help patients with HIV and TB.

It is estimated that around 2 billion people worldwide are infected with tuberculosis, with 95% of TB deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

More than 37 million people live with HIV worldwide, over six million of whom are undiagnosed, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption to various HIV and TB programmes.

This resulted in HIV testing rates falling by 22% and in 2020, an estimated 100,000 deaths were caused by TB in low- and middle-income countries in 2020.

The partnership aims to make changes to improve the diagnosis of HIV and TB in low- and middle-income countries by building local capacity to broach fundamental infrastructure challenges for generating and delivering diagnostic results and managing healthcare waste.

Part of this plan will involve building effective, actionable processes to collect, transport, test samples and return the results to patients for efficient clinical interventions.

Additionally, it will address challenges brought about from a lack of network infrastructure, access to roads, workforce capacity and IT systems.

The two organisations will also work to create new approaches to help reduce the environmental and economic impact of healthcare waste produced as a result of the testing process itself. Part of this objective includes looking into the safe disposal of instruments and medical devices.

As part of its collaboration with the Global Fund, health ministries and country-based partners, Roche will first support evaluations and the implementation of new technologies and knowledge transfer in two to three pilot countries. The end goal is to scale up and extend support in ten countries over the next five years.

“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,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics.

“Getting people to test for HIV and TB is fundamental to contain transmission and enrol people for treatment, crucial steps in saving lives and ending these diseases as public health threats,” said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund.

He added: “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.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

12th May 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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