A recent New York Times article discussed a first for the World Health Organization. The specialized agency of the United Nations focused on international public health has published a list of diagnostic tests it deems imperative to every health care system in the world.
The list of 113 diagnostics is similar to the agency’s essential medicines list, which was back in 1977. The new list, which was assembled by an expert panel, consists of 58 routine blood and urine tests including red and white blood cell counts, blood sugar, and liver enzymes. It also contains one-time events such as pregnancy or transfusion blood-typing. The other 55 tests are for diseases the W.H.O. believe to be top priority such as H.I.V., tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, HPV, and syphilis.