The Right Diagnosis: The Role of Pathology in Health System Strengthening

Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Background: The drive to Universal Health Care coverage, and the need for strengthening health systems, has led to the examination of the role of core elements of the system such as surgery and radiology. Until recently, pathology (which, along with radiology, is key to correct diagnosis and treatment), has been relatively neglected within the global health framework. Resource-constrained governments and patients paying out-ofpocket have tended to underestimate the importance of laboratory testing. International donors have looked to point-of-care tests as a way to overcome the difficult task of strengthening national laboratory networks. Without strong pathology systems, however, there is the danger of development of multi-drug resistance, inaccurate tissue diagnosis and delays in identifying new emerging epidemics. Diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other non-communicab


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Annals of Global Health