Prequalification of Diagnostics Launch Meeting
A launch meeting was held on 16 June 2008 to mark the opening of applications to the prequalification of diagnostics programme. Dr C. Etienne, Assistant Director General Health Systems and Services, opened the meeting by commenting on the significant progress made towards reaching the Millenium Development Goals. However, progress has been slow in some areas mainly due to health systems and services issues that have not been addressed, including lack of access to health technologies.
The prequalification of diagnostics programme is an important step forward to reaching unmet needs in the scale-up of HIV/AIDS and malaria interventions. A lack of safe, appropriate and affordable diagnostics in addition to limited regulatory capacity means that Member States often lack capacity for selecting quality diagnostics for their markets. It was noted that major multi-lateral donor mechanisms are now including diagnostics in their programmes to the benefit of Member States and it was stressed that these programmes must avoid procurement of substandard diagnostics.
The Diagnostics and Laboratory Technology Team presented the progress made to prepare for the launch of the programme. The Director of Essential Health Technologies declared the prequalification of diagnostics programme to be open to applications from manufacturers.