In the Philippines, cutting-edge medical technology similar to the PCR testing equipment used during the pandemic can detect the TB bacteria in about an hour and show if it is likely to respond to first-line drugs or has become resistant. Thus the right treatment to cure the patient and prevent household infection can be started sooner. Medics have carried the suitcase with the diagnostic equipment by boat to remote islands, and it can be dragged up mountains. But there is not enough funding to scale it up all over the Philippines, which is fourth in the world rankings in terms of the number of people developing TB each year, says Dr. Suvanand Sahu, deputy executive director of the Stop TB Partnership.

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