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Divining without SeedsThe Case for Strengthening Laboratory Medicine in Africa$
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Iruka N. Okeke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449413

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449413.001.0001

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The Feasibility of Laboratory Diagnosis in African Settings

(p.141) Conclusion
Divining without Seeds

Iruka N. Okeke

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter focuses on the feasibility of diagnostic development. It debunks the six most prevalent myths about diagnostic development in Africa. These myths are: (i) eliminating necessary diagnostic tests would make patient care more efficient; (ii) laboratory facilities are too expensive; (iii) the ideal tests for Africa have not been invented; (iv) local technical expertise cannot support diagnostic testing; (v) diagnostic tests are superfluous; and (vi) laboratory diagnostics make no contribution to disease prevention. It argues that more than funds, expertise, or knowledge, what is needed to spur diagnostic development is a long-term commitment from all stakeholders. This includes health workers and policymakers as well as those that bear the ultimate costs of diagnostic inadequacies—patients and others that pay for health care such as governments and donors. The chapter concludes with a road map for Africa to advocate her own diagnosis.

Keywords:   diagnosis, disease prevention, diagnostic development, diagnostic testing, Africa

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