The week-long intensive course, led by Prof. Rosanna Peeling from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Dr. François-Xavier Babin from the Mérieux Foundation, is designed to enhance the knowledge and professional network of policy-makers and scientists.
This year’s course focused on access to quality-assured diagnostics, especially in the fields of antimicrobial resistance and epidemic preparedness. The program was developed with a steering committee comprising representatives from Institut Pasteur, UNICEF, WHO, The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Africa CDC, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).
Lectures, question and answer sessions, breakout groups, roundtables and debates were held to discuss topics such as:
- The complexity of access to diagnostics for public health programs
- Innovation needed to improve access
- WHO’s Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) and the state-of-the-art in diagnostics for major infectious diseases
- The barriers faced by diagnostic test developers from R&D to market adoption
- Access to AMR surveillance technologies
- The challenges of access to diagnostics during outbreaks
Ceremony of diplomas awarded by Prof Rosanna Peeling (Course Director) and Dr François-Xavier Babin (Co-director)
The course looked in depth at the challenges for diagnostic systems (spanning the lab and the point of care) with respect to quality, capacity building, accreditation, data connectivity, biosafety and waste management.
Technological innovations from Industry were also presented during a poster session and a “Dragon’s Den” during which entrepreneurs pitched new ideas.
This year, Prof. David Heymann, Head and Senior Fellow at the Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House, gave a keynote lecture on “Point-of-care diagnostics for AMR and epidemic preparedness”.
The 2018 Advanced Course on Diagnostics was generously supported by Africa CDC, DTRA, FIND, WHO/TDR, Becton Dickinson, bioMérieux, CNINE Biosolutions and Micobiomed.
The 2019 ACDx will take place September 15-20 at Les Pensières Center for Global Health. It will be the course’s 10th anniversary.