©Wirestock |

Conflict-affected setting laboratory strengthening (CASLS)

Fast, accurate and reliable diagnostics are an essential component of the health response in conflict-affected settings and emergency situations.

In collaboration with:

To ensure access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations and to support universal health coverage, we must address the gaps in diagnostic services in conflict-affected and emergency settings.

By the end of 2020, two billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, were living in conflict-affected countries.

United Nations statistics

  • People in conflict-affected and emergency settings have significant health needs due to direct impacts (e.g. increased violence and trauma) and indirect impacts (e.g. disruption of care)
  • Conflicts and emergencies increase burden on laboratory systems through workforce disruption, interrupted supply chains and referral networks, and damage to equipment and infrastructure

Evidence from CASLS shows that major gaps in critical diagnostic test menus exist in conflict-affected settings. Access to these tests is additionally limited by a lack of enabling laboratory infrastructure, process control, skilled human resources, and logistics networks.

The CASLS project team working in Gaza, January 2023

FIND and ICRC are working to:

  • Identify the minimal test menu for conflict-affected and emergency settings and develop a tailored essential diagnostics list (C-EDL)
  • Strengthen access to C-EDL tests in conflict-affected and emergency settings
  • Improve the quality of laboratory services for C-EDL testing

With thanks to collaborating Ministries of Health in Gaza and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Conducting this type of research in conflict settings is difficult and dangerous, and there is very little precedent for research in diagnostics in these settings.

Michael L Wilson & Mario Plebani

Clin Chem Lab Med

24 Apr 2023

Diagnostics Day 2023

Check out our full agenda for Diagnostics Day and learn more about the WHA Resolution on diagnostics.