TLI seeks to build up capacity at the lowest level of care possible to facilitate timely diagnosis and access to treatment.
We have two main objectives: 1. Reduce the numbers of missed and misdiagnosed cases of infectious diseases in limited-resource, rural settings. 2. Strengthen laboratory systems by addressing infrastructure, human resources and mobile health interventions.
The delivery of laboratory services is difficult in resource-constrained settings, especially in remote, rural villages. In addition to high burdens of infectious diseases, challenges include limited infrastructure, shortages in skilled workers, costs of equipment and tests, climate and inaccessibility. Appropriate and timely diagnosis is crucial for identifying the presence and cause of infectious diseases at both the individual and population levels. Diagnostic tests enable the correct identification of the causative agent of a disease, which in turn facilitates:
- delineating the appropriate course of treatment -monitoring the effects of interventions -surveying for epidemics and the emergence of drug resistance
Much effort has been placed on developing the capacity of National Reference Laboratories or Central District-level Laboratories; though laudable, such programs may be out of reach for the majority of the population who live in rural settings. Additionally, despite the importance of timely and accurate diagnostics, such tests receive significantly less research attention than efforts that focus on the development of new therapies or vaccines.
At TLI, we believe in patient centered services. Therefore, the absence of reliable road infrastructure in most rural settings necessitates that primary health care services should be available as close to the population as possible, while still ensuring the proper functionality and high quality of services. Rather than placing the burden on the sick individual to access the appropriate level of care that would allow accurate diagnoses of his/her illness, TLI seeks to build up capacity at the lowest level of care possible to facilitate timely diagnosis and access to treatment. In addition to addressing this operational gap, TLI serves to address major research gaps and facilitate the investigation of novel point-of-care and near patient diagnostic tools in rural environments.