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Mobile Diagnostic Lab Can Reach Remote Areas With TB, Other Tests

New York Times: Fighting TB with a Drive-in Film and Test
Amy Maxmen, science journalist

“…[T]uberculosis … [is] an ancient disease that still kills about 4,100 people each day around the world because the tests to diagnose it and the drugs to treat it are inaccessible to many in need. … One effective approach I observed in southern Tanzania was a mobile diagnostic lab housed in a van that offers movies by night to lure potential patients, and runs GeneXpert’s TB test, as well as HIV and cervical cancer tests, by day. A small team made up primarily of Tanzanian doctors and technicians operates both the movie projector and the diagnostic equipment; they pick up supplies as needed and travel to remote areas to serve villagers who otherwise would have limited access to these health tests. …With such remarkable lifesaving technology available, the big challenge for donors, governments, and other social innovators today is to come up with newer and better ways to take them on the road” (4/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.