Detection and treatment Detection and treatment

The fight against forgotten skin-related diseases-duplicate-1

The fight against forgotten skin-related diseases-duplicate-1
  • Ivory Coast, Camerun Country
  • 300.000 € Investment
  • 2022-24 Length

The Challenge

Early diagnosis and immediate treatment is the only way to prevent disability caused by Buruli ulcer.

Unfortunately, it can take weeks to diagnose the disease, since screening methods are not as accessible in the rural areas where the majority of affected people live.

Additionally, although there are different ways to diagnose the disease in the lab (PCR, microscopy, culture, histopathology, etc.) they either have low sensitivity, are time-consuming or require specialised expertise and facilities that are not available in rural areas where the disease is found. It is therefore crucial to develop new simple, easy-to-use, accurate and affordable tests that can be used in communities and facilitate early diagnosis.

The solution

We are working with FIND, the global diagnostic alliance, to develop a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) to detect mycolactone, the toxin that causes Buruli ulcer. To that end:

  • We evaluate the suitability of the prototype of this RDT: how easy it is to use, how well it performs in different field conditions, etc.
  • We launch the production of this prototype.
  • We provide material to perform the validation tests on the RDT

Our ultimate goal is to have this RDT approved by the WHO so that it can be used quickly, cheaply, effectively and close to the areas most affected by Buruli ulcers.

Impact

If the new diagnostic test works, it will speed up the diagnosis of Buruli ulcer.

This will increase early detection, reducing the number of severe cases of the disease. Results currently take up to weeks to come back, especially for people living in rural settings far from the labs where diagnostic tests are performed. In turn, this will alleviate costs for patients and their families, because there will be fewer severe cases requiring intensive care.

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The fight against forgotten skin-related diseases

The fight against forgotten skin-related diseases

Since 2013, Ivory Coast has developed a Management Plan of Integrated Control for the dozen NTDs present in the country with the support of the Anesvad Foundation.

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