O'Neill Institute  |  February 1, 2024

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Bridging the Diagnostics Gap

Empowering change from recommendations to equitable access!

In May 2023, the World Health Assembly (WHA) proposed fifteen actionable recommendations to address diagnostics deficiencies. However, these lack enforcement and progress tracking. But, civil society plays a crucial role in demanding concrete results — the Diagnostic Equity Consortium (DEC), a global coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has outlined five key action areas aimed to achieve equitable diagnostics access in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Join the journey from WHA recommendations to DEC’s actions, working together for equitable diagnostics access for all!


  1. Establish national diagnostic strategies
  2. Establish health technology assessment systems
  3. Develop national essential diagnostics list
  4. Expand accessibility of diagnostics at PHC level
  5. Invest in and train skilled workforce
  6. Apply standards for the safe use of diagnostic imaging
  7. Invest in diagnostic R&D and promote local production
  8. Facilitate access in funding for diagnostic R&D
  9. Promote policies for equitable and timely access to diagnostics
  10. Leverage the TRIPS agreement to promote diagnostic access
  11. Promote policies to prevent anti-competitive practices that hinder access
  12. Harmonize regulatory and procurement policies
  13. Establish routine data collection to monitor and improve diagnostic market
  14. Invest in diagnostic services, including selection and use
  15. Strengthen international collaboration and assistance including during pandemics


Five Action Areas for an Access Agenda

  1. Turn plans into national strategies that yield results. Civil society advocacy is needed to ensure these plans have funds, ambition, measurable progress milestones and an annual review process
  2. Demonstrate diagnostics leadership at every level. Countries, WHO regional and HQ offices and civil society coalitions need committed leadership.
  3. Gather, share and act on data on impact, utilization, client experience, research and development costs and priorities
  4. Ensure affordability via transparency on price and cost, pro-access intellectual property provision and technology transfer and civil society inclusion at every stage of negotiation and decision making.
  5. Create a global movement advocating for equitable diagnostics capacity through education, evidence gathering, mobilizing and more.


Equitable diagnostics capacity in all contexts and for all people—including robust, person-centred testing, treatment, prevention and care at the primary healthcare level.

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