Improved Diagnostics For Infectious Disease in the Developing World

November 19th, 2007 |
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Fighting infectious diseases like Chlamydia, hepatitis B and Trachoma in developing countries is complicated because so many diseases go undetected. Diagnostic efforts are slow and expensive, and require specialialized facilities and skilled technicians. The disease may be preventable or treatable, but without effective diagnostics, millions suffer.

Two teams, the Diagnostics Development Unit at the University of Cambridge and Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd., invented and developed the signal amplification system into a line of quick and easy tests that can be conducted in high heat and humidity. Their efforts, including in China, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Guinea, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, and Australia and the U.K., have reduced infertility in women, helped to prevent blindness among whole villages of children, and protected people from infected blood transfusions. For their efforts, the two teams shared one of the five Swanson Foundation Health Awards at this year’s Tech Museum Awards.

Dr. Helen Lee, of the University of Cambridge, spoke with PodTech for this video podcast from The Tech Museum Awards.

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