servicio nacional lab arg 9 375Lima, Peru April 29, 2019 - A workshop on innovations in diagnostic methods and service delivery was held in Lima, Peru, from April 24 to 26. The workshop was organized and coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Fund, and UNITAID.

The 75 participants from 26 countries and five world regions included laboratory coordinators, experts in diagnostic methods, public health specialists and authorities, representatives of civil society and technical cooperation agencies, and experts from PAHO and WHO.

Participants in the opening event included Dr. Gustavo Rossel, Director-General for Strategic Public Health Interventions, Ministry of Health of Peru; Dr. Mónica Guardo, advisor on surveillance, health, disease prevention and control, PAHO/WHO; and Eileen Burke, laboratory specialist, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The workshop presented recent innovations in diagnostic methods and the delivery of integrated services for tuberculosis, human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as viral hepatitis, malaria, and other neglected diseases. WHO recommendations on diagnostic methods, testing strategies, and monitoring of these diseases were also reviewed. There was discussion of innovative experiences in integrated diagnostic services and better connectivity between laboratories and clinical services.

The experts identified best practices and lessons that can guide the introduction and large-scale deployment or expansion of innovative diagnostic technologies and integrated laboratory services at the national or subnational level. They examined the next steps in adopting and implementing innovative technologies, including integrated platforms to diagnose multiple diseases and new devices for self-administered tests.

The workshop improved the participants’ knowledge about recent innovations in diagnostic methods and integrated laboratory services, as well as how to provide services effectively in order to improve their impact on priority communicable diseases. Consensus was obtained on best practices, lessons learned, and the difficulties involved in introducing and sustainably implementing new diagnostic technologies around the world. A final statement was issued, containing policy recommendations for effective implementation of innovative technologies and integrated laboratory services that could improve HIV, TB, and malaria programs, if implemented on a larger scale.

New technologies help to decentralize diagnosis, simplify laboratory processes, and facilitate interactions between individuals and health services, with a view to achieving universal access to health and universal health coverage.

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