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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 95-95-95 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.



  • Academia or research institute

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • 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 95:95:95 goal by 2030. This goal means that95% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 95% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 95% 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.

In 2019, the program was expanded to include diagnostic tests for MTB, HBV, HCV and HPV/cervical cancer, and more recently SAR-CoV-2 testing, to help mitigate the burden of these diseases where the need is highest.

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.


SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

  1. 3.2: Reduce Under-5 Mortality 
  2. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
  3. 3.C: Health workforce

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 


Since 2015 to end 2021, we have trained over 8300 laboratory professionals, covering 103 training courses and workshops, across 18 countries.