- Evaluating TB diagnostic capacity at the national/central level;
- Assessing the feasibility of decentralizing culture capacity to regional facilities; and
- Reviewing acid-fast bacillus (AFB) smear microscopy capacity, trainings, and external quality assessment.
Laboratory Renovation Design Plans, November2007
Collaboration with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), March-April2008
From March 30-April 4, 2008 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Ms. Mah-Sere Keita Sow, led a team of representatives from the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in introductory meetings with the CDC-Côte d’Ivoire and national stakeholders. The purpose of these in-country meetings and TB laboratory site visits was to initiate a first-time multi-organizational partnership between the CDC, WHO, ASM and FIND, in order to provide well-coordinated laboratory capacity building to resource-poor countries. The team members included Ms. Sow, Dr. C.N. Paramasivan from FIND, Dr. Veronique Vincent from WHO, and ASM consultant, Dr. Gabriel Torrea from Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp.
Acid Fast Bacilli Smear Microscopy, April2008
Line-probe Assay Initiatives, June 2008
Following recent studies conducted by FIND together with South Africa’s Medial Research Council and the National Health Laboratory Services, the line probe assays have been found to provide reliable and feasible results under routine laboratory conditions. As a result, two new initiatives were unveiled in June 2008 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Stop TB Partnership, UNITAID, and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). The first initiative includes the implementation of line-probe assays into the laboratory to diagnosis MDR-TB which up until now has been used primarily in research settings. This approach will minimize the waiting time to less than two days. Over the next four years, laboratory staff will be trained, laboratory facilities will be reconfigured to accommodate the equipment, and 16 countries will begin using the line-prove assay to diagnose MDR-TB. These countries will receive the tests through the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility, which will be providing both drugs and diagnostic supplies through the $26.1 million grant. WHO’s Global Laboratory Initiative and FIND will oversee the installation and use of the new rapid diagnostic tests, ensuring necessary technical standards for biosafety and the capacity to perform DNA-based tests. Such tests will be integrated into 14 of the 16 countries between 2009 and 2011.
A second, complementary agreement with UNITAID will allow the Global Drug Facility to increase the supply of drugs needed to treat MDR-TB in 54 countries, including those receiving the new diagnostic tests. This initiative will provide $33.7 million to countries with a secondary goal of reducing the price of second-line anti-TB drugs by 2010.