New technology, laboratory to aid global TB fight

Doctor looks for tuberculosis in lung X-rays. Photo by: Jad Davenport / World Lung Foundation Image Library

Zero Tuberculosis Deaths in My Lifetime.

This was the theme of this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, which took place Saturday (March 24). In a bid to move a step closer to achieving this goal, the World Bank and its partners are looking into a new TB diagnostic tool and a state-of-the-art TB laboratory.

The World Bank-funded East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project has launched GeneXpert, a new diagnostic technology that promises to speed up testing of HIV-related and multidrug-resistant TB in just two hours. Hospitals in remote areas in Kenya will be one of the first to try the new technology.

The bank and its partners, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also building a national TB reference laboratory in Uganda. Once finished, the laboratory will boost the capacity of East Africa to serve more patients with TB.

In addition, the bank is working to address TB among miners. It hopes to mobilize support for regional action on TB in the sector by working closely with the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership and the South African development community.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.