For First Time, W.H.O. Names Some Lab Tests ‘Essential’

Taking blood for an H.I.V. test at a mobile clinic in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The World Health Organization has recommended 113 diagnostic tests it considers essential to every health care system in the world. Stephane De Sakutin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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As reported by Donald G. McNeil Jr. in the New York Times, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a list of essential diagnostics. This necessary diagnostic list consists of many common lab tests frequently ordered by physicians including red and white blood cell counts, liver enzymes, etc. However the list also includes tests for urgent, pervasive diseases such as malaria, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis, among others. The list was published with the purpose of putting larger focus on areas in which these diagnostics are crucial but unavailable, potentially creating more affordable means of production for such tests.

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