Home Health & Food Nigeria, WHO launch national diagnostic list

Nigeria, WHO launch national diagnostic list

by James Davies

Deborah Tolu-Kolawole

The World Health Organisation has supported the Federal Government in launching the Nigeria National Essential Diagnostics List.

The EDL aims to provide evidence-based guidance to countries to create their own national lists of essential diagnostic tests and tools, anticipating that the EDL would complement the List of Essential Medicines and enhance its impact.

The WHO Public Health Emergency Advisor, Dr. Alexander Chimbaru, disclosed that following increased recognition of the importance of diagnostic testing in healthcare, particularly as it plays a major role in achieving Universal Health Coverage, the World Health Organisation developed an Essential Diagnostics List to address the lack of access to tests and testing services in many countries.

Chimbaru further noted the WHO Essential Diagnostic List, which was first published in 2018, was a list of recommended in-vitro diagnostics that should be available at the point of care and is intended as a guidance document for countries to create their own national list based on their local context and needs.

“The overall goal of the EDL is to improve access to testing, diagnostic capacities during the outbreak, affordability of test, regulation, and quality of the diagnostic test.”

“The National Essential Diagnostic List is anticipated to complement and enhance the impact of the Essential Medicines List, which has recorded a great improvement in availability and affordability of medicines and quality of patient management.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the flag-off of the dissemination of the Nigeria National Essential Diagnostics List marks another giant stride towards achieving the core mandate of the Federal Ministry of Health which is “to develop and implement policies to strengthen the national health system for effective, efficient, accessible and affordable delivery of health services in partnership with relevant stakeholders.”

Ehanire pointed out that policies and guidelines were developed to address needs and situations, adding that Nigeria was committed to attaining globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.

“Over the past few years, there has been increased recognition of the importance of diagnostic testing in healthcare, and especially in achieving the goal of UHC, but until recently, there have been few strategic efforts designed to develop the evidence base on which policymakers can rationally increase and improve access to diagnostic testing.”

“To this end, after about four decades since the existence of the Essential Medicines List, WHO has seen the need to develop an Essential Diagnostics List,” he said.

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