The Lancet Commission on diagnostics: advancing equitable access to diagnostics

Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


For too long, the crucial role of diagnostics as a foundation of effective and high-quality health care has been neglected. Due to poor access, people in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) and those among low-income groups in high-income countries have frequently received treatment that is initiated without the support of essential diagnostic tests. All too often, such presumptive treatment leads to poor health outcomes, wastes scarce resources on wrong treatments, fails to develop accurate epidemiological data, and contributes to development of antimicrobial resistance. Diagnostics are beyond the reach of a vast number of the world's people. Moreover, the need for access to accurate, affordable, and high-quality diagnostics is increasing with efforts to provide universal health coverage (UHC), growing burdens of non-communicable diseases, ageing populations, and the introduction of therapies that can only be used effectively when guided by diagnostic testing.