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Roche, Global Fund Partner to Support Diagnostic Infrastructure in LMICs

NEW YORK – Roche and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have partnered to build out diagnostic infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries, Roche announced on Thursday. 

Through its Global Access Program, Roche will work with the Global Fund to "strengthen diagnostic capacity and pandemic preparedness in low- and middle-income countries fighting against HIV and tuberculosis," it said in a statement. The partners will build local capacity to deal with infrastructure challenges for both generating and delivering diagnostic results, as well as managing healthcare waste.

Those steps include building effective processes to collect, transport, and test samples, along with returning results to patients for timely clinical interventions. The effort will also address challenges due to a lack of network infrastructure, workforce capacity, access to roads, and IT systems, as well as create novel approaches to reduce the economic and environmental burden of healthcare waste generated during the testing process and the disposal of instruments and devices, Roche said.

Through collaborations with the Global Fund, Ministries of Health, and country-based partners, Roche plans to first support assessments and implementation of new technologies and knowledge transfer in two to three pilot countries. It later intends to scale up and extend that support in 10 countries over the next five years.

"Connecting our experts with critical local stakeholders, we are aiming to help build sustainable solutions that could be scaled across countries," Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said in a statement.

"Getting people to test for HIV and TB is fundamental to containing transmission and enrolling people on treatment, which are crucial steps to saving lives and ending these diseases as public health threats," added Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund.