Integrated laboratory systems and diagnostic networks comprise one of five priority areas that underpin the transition of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) toward investments that strengthen health and community systems and pandemic preparedness.
Efficient and reliable laboratory systems with diagnostic testing capacity are critical for diagnosing diseases, guiding treatment, determining drug resistance and identifying diseases of public health significance. They play a vital role in achieving impact against HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria and other pathogens that are a threat to public health.
Countries can invest grant funds to support activities to strengthen and sustain domestic diagnostic and laboratory capacities for emerging and reemerging infections, while also reinforcing the established infrastructure for endemic diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
Implementing countries are encouraged to integrate routine testing for COVID-19 into their existing diagnostic networks. Investment can also be directed toward interventions that increase multi-disease testing capacities; shorten turnaround time for test results; improve data management of laboratory results via digitalized, integrated laboratory information systems; improve connectivity solutions for laboratory equipment; address needs for governance, transport of samples, supply chains, and other pillars of lab systems; and strengthen laboratory workforces.