George Steuarts Health recently donated Rs. 2 million worth of new diagnostic test-kits to the Ministry of Health in order to support the ongoing Dengue research work conducted by the Epidemiology Unit. The test-kits which were donated by GS Health, a subsidiary of George Steuart and Company Ltd., are manufactured by SD Diagnostics, Korea and is called the SD Bioline Dengue Duo – the world’s first and only product available which detects both the Dengue virus (NSI Antigen) as well as the antibodies of the Dengue virus (Dengue IgG/IgM) whether in human whole blood, serum or plasma.
According to GS Health Executive Director Erandajith Ranasinghe, “These kits are donated as the latest offering from our portfolio to ease the burden of the common man. Further, they would facilitate conduct of the test with large throughput screening for management of the disease,” he noted. “It is going to be a handy tool in screening of patients on a large scale basis in an affordable manner. GS Health is committed to tap the growing opportunities in the sector and making a solid community intervention such as this – to make tests of diseases accessible and affordable – we will extend more facilities to the Government in the future as well.”
The new test will help diagnose dengue even during the “window period” – within the first day after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types and can be carried out in any hospital/diagnostic laboratory setup with results being obtained within 15-20 minutes.
As per the published data of the Epidemiology Unit at the Ministry of Health, 16,052 Dengue cases have been diagnosed within the year 2012 alone, out of which 76 cases resulted in the death of the patient. As per the national guidelines, published by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka, on the management of Dengue fever and Dengue hemorrhagic fever, it is said “the course of dengue infection varies from individual to individual and even in the same individual from time to time. This guideline includes new concepts, based on scientific evidence, on the management of Dengue Fever (DF). It emphasises the early detection of plasma leakage and prevention of shock, early detection of shock, treatment of shock, management of special situations and the place of adjunctive treatment in patients with Dengue.” “As such, the need for the new dengue diagnostic test was high,” says GS Health Manager Diagnostics Priyankara Attigalle. “Patients will be diagnosed sooner than before, and public health laboratories will have a clearer picture of the true number of dengue cases. Dengue is now a reportable disease in the Country, and the availability of state-of-the-art dengue diagnostics will improve patient management and the public health response to dengue. GS Health is pleased to be a part of this cause.”
GS Health is also the marketer and distributor of Dengue Antigen and Antibody Rapid Test-Kits, all manufactured by SD Diagnostics which are widely used by all leading private hospitals and laboratories in the country.