In the light of emerging and overlooked infectious diseases and widespread drug resistance, diagnostics have become increasingly important in supporting surveillance, disease control and outbreak management programs.
In many low-income countries the diagnostic service has been a neglected part of health care, often lacking quantity and quality or even non-existing at all.
High-income countries have exploited few of their advanced technical abilities for the much-needed development of low-cost, rapid diagnostic tests to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and accelerate the start of appropriate treatment. As is now also recognized by World Healt Organization, investment in the development of affordable diagnostic tools is urgently needed to further our ability to control a variety of diseases that form a major threat to humanity.
The Royal Tropical Institute's Department of Biomedical Research aims to contribute to the health of people living in the tropics. To this end, its multidisciplinary group of experts focuses on the diagnosis of diseases that are major health problems in low-income countries. In partnership we develop, improve and evaluate simple and cheap diagnostic tests, and perform epidemiological studies. Moreover, we advice and support others - especially those in developing countries - in their efforts to diagnose infectious diseases.