UNITAID’s investments in HIV diagnostics have always aimed at catalysing solutions that enable countries and partners to achieve the highest impact with their funding. Lelio Marmora, UNITAID’s Executive Director.
(PRWEB UK) 18 December 2015
Becton Dickinson (BD), the leading provider of CD4 testing solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, is partnering with ministries of health, UNITAID, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) in Kenya and Swaziland to deliver a new “CD4 Access Solution” by expanding and optimizing CD4 networks to effectively meet aggressive new HIV testing targets.
The addition of the BD FACSPresto™ point-of-care system to BD’s FACSCount and FACSCalibur product line provides the company with a complete suite of CD4 testing solutions, servicing the needs of health centers up to large district hospitals, depending on patient volumes and accessibility. The ability to select from a variety of platforms to optimally fit any testing need is expected to increase efficiency and decrease waste. The new BD FACSPresto product provides low to medium throughput, simplified testing, simplified logistics, and sophisticated data management.
CHAI, supported by UNITAID, and BD identified an opportunity to strengthen access to testing nationwide through a solution-based model. This solution-driven business model will provide cost savings for countries, particularly when considering the cost per delivered result, and allow the flexibility in device placement necessary to meet changing patient demands.
“This is a significant step in optimizing the use of existing diagnostic solutions in Africa. It demonstrates that we can meet changing patient demands by introducing innovative and appropriate technologies,” said Lelio Marmora, UNITAID’s Executive Director. “UNITAID’s investments in HIV diagnostics have always aimed at catalysing solutions that enable countries and partners to achieve the highest impact with their funding.”
Kenya and Swaziland were selected as two countries with advanced policy regarding CD4 and viral load. BD has a significant market presence for CD4 instruments in both countries. “BD is well positioned to provide total solutions that rationalize CD4 testing networks and expand access to testing. This partnership with CHAI is a testimony to our continued commitment to bring equitable access to CD4 testing across all levels of the health system,” said Vince Forlenza, Chairman, CEO, and President of BD.
Initial pilot programs are expected to begin in Q1 2016. Kenya, in particular, has one of the largest public health sector CD4 networks in sub-Saharan Africa and could provide useful evidence to expand the “CD4 Access Solution” framework to other countries.
“This project, in partnership with BD and UNITAID, represents a unique opportunity to develop a more flexible, cost-efficient business model for diagnostics service delivery that will best position governments to meet changing CD4 testing requirements as they continue to respond to HIV/AIDS,” said Ira C. Magaziner, CEO of CHAI. “We commend BD for providing an innovative solution that better meets the needs of HIV programs in Kenya and Swaziland.”
In parallel with increasing access to viral load monitoring and moving towards the adoption of universal treatment, countries will need to maintain well-managed CD4 testing networks, as they scale-up viral load monitoring and move towards universal treatment. CD4 remains a valuable tool to clinicians to monitor patient health at treatment initiation and throughout treatment.
Based on results in Kenya and Swaziland, the “CD4 Access Solution” could be extended to additional countries resulting in improved access to immunological testing for patients who need it most.