Over the last two decades, there have been enormous improvements in health sciences with new technologies for disease control – new ways to diagnose them, new drugs to treat them, and new health care systems to treat those afflicted with them. Yet the benefits of this progress have not penetrated most of the developing world, where TB, malaria and other preventable and treatable diseases continue to spread.
The greatest obstacle to care and control of many diseases in the developing world is lack of effective and appropriate diagnostic tests – reliable and inexpensive tools that can rapidly and accurately identify who is sick with which disease, so that appropriate treatment begins promptly.
Without these tools, patients are not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease, when the individual’s health is already compromised, drug therapies are more expensive and less effective, and it is likely that the infection has been spread to many others. The inability to diagnose disease properly frustrates care providers, reduces patients’ faith in the healthcare system and results in inappropriate care with sometimes counterfeit or ineffective medicines, resulting in a massive waste of scarce resources.
That is how FIND is making a difference: by opening a new door for prompt and correct treatment of poverty diseases. Better diagnostics. Better health. And, in turn, more opportunities for economic and social progress in the world’s least developed countries.
The cost of poor diagnosis: impact on individuals, communities and global programmes