The World Health Organisation has made universal health coverage its primary area of focus and released an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). The move is important for developing countries like India which will now hopefully adopt the Essential Diagnostics List (EDL), and work towards publishing its own.
The list, which concentrates on in-vitro tests (tests on blood and urine), contains 113 test, of which 58 are listed for detection and diagnosis of a wide range of common conditions, and the remaining 55 designed for detection, diagnosis and monitoring of priority diseases including, HIV, TB, malaria, and Hepatitis B and C.
Some tests are suitable for primary healthcare facilities, which often lack laboratories — for instance, tests to diagnose a child for acute malaria, or glucometers for testing diabetes. These tests do not require electricity or trained personnel.
This exercise could represent an opportunity for Indian NGOs and social entrepreneurs involved in the area of primary healthcare, testing and infectious disease prevention.