Australian Government awards FIND 2.5 million AUD to improve diagnostics for malaria and tuberculosis

Geneva, Switzerland – 9 September 2013 – FIND is pleased to announce that it has been awarded 2.5 million AUD from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The award will fund research and development of improved and new diagnostics for diseases of poverty, specifically malaria and tuberculosis (TB), for use in low-resource settings. One of the greatest impediments to the control of infectious diseases in the developing world is a lack of low-priced yet high-performing tests for diagnosing disease rapidly and correctly so that treatment can begin before the spread of infection.

FIND appreciates and applauds the leadership that AusAID, which is responsible for managing the Australian government’s overseas aid programme, is showing by responding to ongoing global health needs.

“Much work remains to be done to deliver improved diagnostics to the developing world and achieve better control of these deadly diseases,” said Dr. Catharina Boehme, Chief Executive Officer of FIND. “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support of AusAID and hope that this is the start of a long and productive collaboration.”

FIND’s vision is driven by the conviction that equitable access to diagnosis is central to achieving good health: rapid and accurate diagnosis for every patient is a first essential step towards effective treatment and prevention. Yet the diagnostic tests available in the developing world are largely outdated and ineffective, while those used in wealthier societies are either too expensive or not adapted for use in low-resource settings. As a result, each year millions of people in developing countries still die from diseases that are treatable. The lack of appropriate tools also leads to delayed treatment, multiple clinic visits, and misdiagnosis, all of which result in enormous health and financial costs, and waste of valuable resources.

Since its inception in 2003, FIND has produced tangible results in the area of diagnostics in a relatively short period. It has obtained WHO endorsement for six new tuberculosis technologies that are currently being scaled up in 32 countries and has a robust pipeline of new, improved diagnostic tests for TB, malaria and other neglected diseases.