FIND will create a model for sustainable improvement in laboratory capacity, thus ensuring the reliable diagnosis of poverty-related diseases at all levels of the health system. Working with the government of Uganda, AMREF and other public and private partners, FIND will identify deficiencies in current diagnostic services, refine a package of essential diagnostics, and develop a plan to address those deficiencies in a sustainable manner through social franchising.
The state of diagnostic laboratories across many developing countries remains poor, illustrating the critical need for improved infrastructure, equipment, laboratory supplies, and capacity. In under- resourced laboratories, technicians rely increasingly on clinical signs and symptoms as the only basis for disease diagnosis. Without the proper means for diagnosing and treating disease, public and private confidence in laboratory systems diminishes, leading to further disinvestment in and de-prioritization of lab services.
This is the environment in which HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics are currently managed, and in which new diagnostic technologies are scheduled to be introduced. Yet new diagnostic tools will not make a difference unless we also address the overall state of diagnostic services; namely, the infrastructure, together with local and sustainable mechanisms for continuous quality assurance, in preparation for the uptake of new diagnostic tools at all levels of the health system, with priority given to point of care tests.
To this end, FIND is exploring the concept of laboratory social franchising through a model that can assure high quality services both in the public and private sectors through accreditation as a locally driven public-private partnership. The fees from accredited private sector laboratories would sustain a small non-profit national secretariat to manage laboratory accreditation and associated skills building, resulting in sustained support for both public and private sector diagnostic service laboratories.
FIND was launched at the World Health Assembly in May 2003 as a public private partnership and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. FIND is developing rapid, accurate and affordable first point-of-care diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases endemic in the developing world.
July 1, 2008
Implementation Period: 2007 - ongoing
In collaboration with Uganda's Ministry of Health, FIND is committed to strengthening laboratory services throughout the country and facilitating the implementation of new diagnostic technologies.
Ministry of Health- National Malaria Control Programme, National TB Programme.
Other partners: Malaria Consortium, Makerre University, CDC
FIND seeks $11 million in funding in order to develop and phase in a model for self-sustaining laboratory services quality assurance and accreditation for both the public and private sector. The experiences gained will be rolled out to other developing countries. FIND is seeking partners to make this happen.