Essential Healthcare deals with health problems that occur mainly in resource-poor regions in developing and emerging countries. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis still devastate individuals, families, and even entire communities. WHO statistics show that 300-500 million people are infected with malaria every year. It is one of the world’s most dangerous diseases, causing over one million deaths annually. This includes a child every 30 seconds.
The vast majority of those urgently requiring controlled antiretroviral treatment are not covered by the necessary health services. The main obstacles are a lack of effective, affordable, robust and easy-to-use equipment. This is exacerbated by the stigmatization attached to testing, poor infrastructure with unreliable transport systems, missing healt care professionals, and the lack of an information chain from centralized to local labs.
Tuberculosis is diagnosed using sputum smears with microscopy. LED fluorescence microscopy is more sensitive and much faster than transmitted light microscopy. ZEISS recommends an Auramine O staining in conjunction with a fluorescence microscope. Compared to the common Ziehl-Neelsen staining for brightfield, mycobacteria stained with auramine-rhodamine light up greenish yellow in front of a dark background and are therefore clearly visible. It is essential to have either a mirror to catch enough daylight, a microscope equipped with a rechargeable, energy efficient LED light source or a battery pack allowing the fluorescence microscope to be operated for several hours without mains power. Additional advantages of the LED-light source are: no warm-up and cool-down times and no need to change or adjust lamps. Especially in warm, damp climates, an anti-fungus coating on the microscope and the accessories is recommended to avoid fungal growth.
Malaria parasites are usually identified in a patient’s stained blood film using a compact, upright microscope with brightfield contrast. Most common staining methods are the Giemsa or the Leishman stain of the blood smear.
ZEISS offers instruments that can be used directly to deliver help to where it is needed most, focusing on patients in remote areas and far from large cities who cannot be reached by existing health services.
ZEISS Primostar iLed
Primo Star iLED is your fluorescence microscope to quickly detect tuberculosis and other tropical diseases. You can easily and reliably detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis either using brightfield with a Ziehl-Neelsen staining or fluorescence excitation with Auramine O dye. Primo Star iLED allows you to switch easily between the two modes. Working in the field, you have the option of working in brightfield with a mirror and sunlight. Ergonomic eyecups keep ambient light out so that you get high-contrast fluorescence images even without a darkroom. In remote areas with fluctuating or no electricity, use your Primo Star iLED’s battery pack. An anti-fungal treatment is applied to all optical components to prevent fungal growths. Primo Star iLED is the result of a joint project with the Swiss Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND). As a customer from one of the country’s most heavily affected by tuberculosis, Primo Star iLED is available to you at a particularly low price.
ZEISS Axiolab 5
Axiolab 5 has been designed for daily laboratory applications. The microscope places strong emphasis on ergonomic features: you can examine slides with a favorable viewing position, keeping the neck and shoulder muscles relaxed. All applications in brightﬁeld, darkﬁeld, phase contrast or ﬂuorescence you perform readily. The microscope is equipped with either a halogen bulb, LED daylight or LED warmlight. And, all optics in Axiolab 5 are anti-fungus treated.
With ZEISS Labscope, you can have an expert opinion right at the place you need it. With this iPad imaging app, you can display the live images of all connected microscopes and send them to your central lab. With one touch, you can look at each colleague’s result, share your opinion and give advice. It's easy to snap an image, add annotations, and save it – or export it straight to your server. With Labscope, you save your images in the ZEN compatible .czi file format including all metadata – or you can select the space-saving .jpg format. Download Labscope free from the Apple App Store.