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Botswana invests in latest diagnostic tech to combat diseases

Botswana has become the first SADC country to launch the latest molecular testing technology from Switzerland’s largest biotechnology company, Roche Diagnostics.

Roche Diagnostics has collaborated with local healthcare companies Orthosurge Botswana and Diagnofirm to roll out the Cobas 5800 molecular diagnostics system to expand molecular testing capacity, broaden access to healthcare and address healthcare barriers.

“Access to reliable diagnostics is critical in tackling Africa's dual disease burden of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) and infectious diseases,” said Executive Vice-President Diagnostics, Africa at Roche Diagnostics, Dr Allan Pamba.

Pamba said the system promotes automation, consolidation, integration and standardisation, and that automation improves productivity and accuracy.

Benefits include the ability to scale integration to meet changing demands, seamless connection to existing IT infrastructure and the ability to generate laboratory-specific insights to drive efficiency and productivity.

Oremeng Motshegare, Director at Orthosurge Botswana said technology made available locally through partnership with the Ministry of Health includes IVD and quality HIV screening.

Dr Mohammed Chand, Medical Director of Diagnofirm Medical Laboratories (DML) said: “It is in our DNA to introduce new technology and advances that will see better outcomes for patients.”

Minister of Health, Dr Edwin Dikoloti said installation of the Cobas 5800 reflects further commitment to combating threats like fighting HIV as well as Tuberculosis (TB), human papillomavirus (HPV), early infant diagnosis (EID), Hepatitis B & C and SARS.

“Core diagnostic systems are the first step in managing any disease. This is one more important stride towards delivering better access to healthcare for all our people,” said Dikoloti.

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