July 21, 2009
The head of global health for a U.S. medical equipment supplier is touting a plan to convert shipping containers into HIV/AIDS diagnostic labs in resource-limited settings in Africa and elsewhere.
"I think it's a very exciting concept and I think it is one that can be replicated across Africa," Krista Thompson of Becton Dickinson & Co. said during a visit to the Gugulethu township near Cape Town, the site of the first containerized AIDS laboratory from Toga Labs, a South African molecular diagnostics firm.
The Gugulethu lab has been in operation since 2004, providing testing for some 4,500 people on antiretroviral treatment. Run by a medical technologist and an administrator, it processes an estimated 11,000 blood samples annually, said Des Martin, a director at Toga. The lab, which costs around $250,000, is one of 10 now operating in South Africa.
07.21.2009; Wendell Roelf
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