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Tanzania develops TB rapid diagnostic tests.............................

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Rutashubanyuma, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    By PIUS RUGONZIBWA, 9th December 2010 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 12

    TANZANIA has moved an extra mile in fighting Tuberculosis (TB) by developing about three rapid diagnostic tests which, if approved, will phase out the existing sputum smear microscopy diagnostic method which is out of date.

    The National TB and Leprosy Programme Officer, Dr Deus Kamala, told the 'Daily News' on Thursday that the new tests are gene expert which is in final logistical tests in Mbeya Referral Hospital, liquid culture media and ‘HAIN TESTS.’

    According to Dr Kamala, the tests availed for pilot application in selected referral hospitals in the country before they are released for wider application in hospitals and health centres throughout the country.

    “Gene expert is currently being tested for validation and some other logistics …it is just a matter of time… it will soon be released for application,” he said.

    The good news came just a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that it had endorsed yet another new rapid test which will be more relevant in countries most affected by TB disease including Tanzania.

    The test according to WHO, could revolutionize TB care and control by providing an accurate diagnosis for many patients in about 100 minutes, compared to current tests that can take up to three months to have the results.

    "This new test represents a major milestone for global TB diagnosis and care and represents new hope for millions of people who are at the highest risk of TB and drug-resistant disease. We have the scientific evidence, we have defined the policy, and now we aim to support implementation for impact in countries,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of WHO's Stop TB Department.

    WHO endorsement of the rapid test, which is a fully automated Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) follows 18 months of rigorous assessment of its field effectiveness in the early diagnosis of TB, as well as multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and TB complicated by HIV infection, which are more difficult to diagnose.

    The new 'while you wait' test incorporates modern DNA technology that can be used outside of conventional laboratories. It also benefits from being fully automated and therefore easy and safe to use.

    Commenting on the new development, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Deo Mtasiwa, said no official communication has been made to his office on the new finding so far but maintained that WHO would surely furnish the government with such developments in due time.

    “We are waiting for official communication and guidance from WHO country office on the development…thereafter we will see how to go about it,” he said.

    The test Co-developer Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND) has also announced it has negotiated with the manufacturer, Cepheid, a 75 per cent reduction in the price for countries most affected by TB, compared to the current market price.

    Preferential pricing will be granted to 116 low- and middle- income countries where TB is endemic, with additional reduction in price once there is significant volume of demand.

    "There has been a strong commitment to remove any obstacles, including financial barriers, that could prevent the successful roll-out of this new technology," said Dr Giorgio Roscigno, FIND's Chief Executive Officer.

    WHO has also announced it is releasing recommendations and guidance for countries to incorporate this test in their programmes. This includes testing protocols (or algorithms) to optimize the use and benefits of the new technology in those persons where it is needed most.
    By PIUS RUGONZIBWA, 9th December 2010 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 12

    TANZANIA has moved an extra mile in fighting Tuberculosis (TB) by developing about three rapid diagnostic tests which, if approved, will phase out the existing sputum smear microscopy diagnostic method which is out of date.

    The National TB and Leprosy Programme Officer, Dr Deus Kamala, told the 'Daily News' on Thursday that the new tests are gene expert which is in final logistical tests in Mbeya Referral Hospital, liquid culture media and ‘HAIN TESTS.’

    According to Dr Kamala, the tests availed for pilot application in selected referral hospitals in the country before they are released for wider application in hospitals and health centres throughout the country.

    “Gene expert is currently being tested for validation and some other logistics …it is just a matter of time… it will soon be released for application,” he said.

    The good news came just a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that it had endorsed yet another new rapid test which will be more relevant in countries most affected by TB disease including Tanzania.

    The test according to WHO, could revolutionize TB care and control by providing an accurate diagnosis for many patients in about 100 minutes, compared to current tests that can take up to three months to have the results.

    "This new test represents a major milestone for global TB diagnosis and care and represents new hope for millions of people who are at the highest risk of TB and drug-resistant disease. We have the scientific evidence, we have defined the policy, and now we aim to support implementation for impact in countries,” said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of WHO's Stop TB Department.

    WHO endorsement of the rapid test, which is a fully automated Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) follows 18 months of rigorous assessment of its field effectiveness in the early diagnosis of TB, as well as multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and TB complicated by HIV infection, which are more difficult to diagnose.

    The new 'while you wait' test incorporates modern DNA technology that can be used outside of conventional laboratories. It also benefits from being fully automated and therefore easy and safe to use.

    Commenting on the new development, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Deo Mtasiwa, said no official communication has been made to his office on the new finding so far but maintained that WHO would surely furnish the government with such developments in due time.

    “We are waiting for official communication and guidance from WHO country office on the development…thereafter we will see how to go about it,” he said.

    The test Co-developer Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND) has also announced it has negotiated with the manufacturer, Cepheid, a 75 per cent reduction in the price for countries most affected by TB, compared to the current market price.

    Preferential pricing will be granted to 116 low- and middle- income countries where TB is endemic, with additional reduction in price once there is significant volume of demand.

    "There has been a strong commitment to remove any obstacles, including financial barriers, that could prevent the successful roll-out of this new technology," said Dr Giorgio Roscigno, FIND's Chief Executive Officer.

    WHO has also announced it is releasing recommendations and guidance for countries to incorporate this test in their programmes. This includes testing protocols (or algorithms) to optimize the use and benefits of the new technology in those persons where it is needed most.

    Though there have been major improvements in TB care and control, tuberculosis killed an estimated 1.7 million people in 2009 and 9.4 million people developed active TB last year.

    Tanzania has signed various key international declarations against TB but lack of reliable and rapid diagnosis has been hampering effective treatment of the disease. TB is a serious problem in the country; where more than 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
    Though there have been major improvements in TB care and control, tuberculosis killed an estimated 1.7 million people in 2009 and 9.4 million people developed active TB last year.

    Tanzania has signed various key international declarations against TB but lack of reliable and rapid diagnosis has been hampering effective treatment of the disease. TB is a serious problem in the country; where more than 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
     
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