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Strengthening Diagnostics Capabilities in Africa

Active Since: 2014

Contributing to SDGs…

As the leading provider of HIV viral load testing, Roche created the Global Access Program in 2014 to contribute to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal, expanding access to quality, sustainable diagnostic testing for countries hardest hit by HIV.

In 2014, Roche announced, the Global Access Program for increased access to HIV diagnostics. Roche partnered with national governments, local healthcare facilities, communities and international agencies, including UNAIDS, CHAI, Unitaid, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish programs that would go beyond providing diagnostic tests.



  • Bilateral Organisations

    US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

  • Global NGOs

    Clinton Health Access Initiative

  • Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals


  • Professional and trade associations

    African Society for Laboratory Medicine


  • Address the lack of trained diagnostic workers by supporting a purpose-built training centre to increase much needed laboratory services.

What are the health needs and challenges?

One of the greatest healthcare challenges for Africa is having enough trained healthcare workers to manage diagnostic tools effectively. 50-70% of clinical decisions depend on accurate laboratory diagnosis, so having reliable diagnostic capabilities is critical.

Optimising the use of diagnostics will be critical to achieving the targets of the UNAIDS 90:90:90 goal by 2020. This goal means that 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have durable viral suppression.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

To address the lack of trained diagnostic workers and laboratory capacity, Roche opened the Roche Scientific Campus in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012.

The training centre aims to provide:

– hands-on, certified training courses for lab technologists and engineers
– general lab management training for managers and policy makers
– education on health and scientific topics for healthcare professionals and scientists

The facility boasts five self-contained laboratories with the latest technological tools in chemistry, haematology, molecular biology, tissue diagnostics and sequencing. Training is conducted by certified trainers and experts, in collaboration with local and international organisations.

In 2012 Roche and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) formed a five-year partnership to strengthen training for diagnostics workers in Africa. In 2014, Roche extended its partnership with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), (PEPFAR), and the Global Fund to fight HIVAIDS, TB & Malaria on a new Global Access Program for HIV viral load testing. The Global Access Program specifically addresses the need for increased diagnostic testing and viral load assays with reduced pricing in those countries most impacted by HIV. This includes improving laboratory capacity to ensure that all people living with HIV can be linked to effective, high-quality HIV treatment services.

"The Roche Scientific Campus as a whole has been built primarily for the focus of ensuring continued medical education, continued scientific education and skills development and capacity building."
Terence Moodley
Head of Roche Scientific Campus


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
  2. 3.C: Health workforce

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 


To date the campus has hosted over 300 courses, covered over 980 training days for around 1600 participants. The facility also plays regular host to HIV clinicians and meetings on various topics. The roll-out of the PEPFAR-Roche partnership began with two pilot courses; a five-day laboratory budgeting course, followed by a two-week course on Method Validation and Quality Control.