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WHO STRATEGISE  TO BOOST DIAGNOSTIC CAPACITIES, LAUNCH DOCUMENT

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By AKOR SYLVESTER-Abuja
In an effort to ensure quick access to testing and diagnostic capacities in any case of outbreak in the country, Federal government, in collaboration with the Word Health Organization (WHO) has launched the Nigerian Essential Diagnostic List (NEDL) .
This initiative is to help quick response in emergency like outbreak of disease in the country.
Speaking during the launch of the document in Abuja, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, stated that, “the NEDL is anticipated to improve patient care, in-country diagnostic capacity, affordability of tests, regulation and quality of diagnostic tests, and capabilities of national laboratories.
The minister who was represented by the ministry’s director of dentistry, Abolanle Along, said that the 1st edition of the NEDL is a guidance document needed to prioritise critical health in-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) based on wide availability and affordability through the national health system.
He maintained that it will support the selection, procurement, supply, donations or provision of IVDs, adding that the NEDL enlists 145 diagnostic test categories comprising 65 general In vitro diagnostics (IVDs) to aid the diagnosis of a range of disease conditions and 80 others.
The public health emergency advisor, WHO, Alexander Chimbaru, noted that the use of quality diagnostics is the first step in the strategies for treatment.
He said following increased recognitions of the importance of diagnostic testing in healthcare particularly as it plays major role towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), WHO developed an EDL to address the lack of access to tests and testing services in many countries.
“The WHO Essential Diagnostic List which was first published in 2018, is a list of recommended invitro diagnostics that should be available at point of care and is intended as a guidance document for countries to create their own national list based on their local context and needs.
Chimbaru congratulated Nigeria for the achievement as the country joined the list of the first countries including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, that have adopted the WHO concept of EDL and has produced one that is aligned to the disease prevalence in their country.
He encouraged all the states and health facilities to use the document as this will not only improve the health system capacity to reach accurate diagnosis but will save heath resources wasted on inappropriate treatment and long stay in the hospital.

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