National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) is the government national reference laboratory under the Department of health services (DoHS) and Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). It is directly linked with different levels of 277 government laboratories in the country. It was established in 1968 as Central Health Laboratory. The name was changed to National Public Health Laboratory in 1991 with the mandate for organizational and administration responsibilities for the health laboratory services (public health and clinical diagnostic) in both public and private sectors throughout the country. Networking, Licensing, monitoring, supervision, capacity, strengthening and conducting research activities and NEQAS of the laboratories are the major functions of NPHL. Currently, NPHL has facility of biosafety level (BSL) II lab with real time PCR (RT-PCR) which is in use for testing viral load & Avian Influenza including Swine flu.
NPHL is able to diagnose influenza A (H1N3, H1N1, H5, H7), Influenza B, and other viruses including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Hanta, Ebola, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) dengue, chikungunya, zika, leptospira, and scrub typhus and many others if kits available. It is also measuring HIV viral load, Hepatitis B & C viral load and planning to carry out genotyping.
To develop National Public Health Laboratory as centre of excellence in diagnosis.
To provide quality laboratory services (diagnostic and public health related) to the people of Nepal through central, Regional, Sub-regional, Zonal, District and PHC based laboratories.
Extend laboratory services in all hospital and health case institution upto PHC level.
- To develop NPHL as national reference laboratory for diagnostic and public health services.
- To address the diagnostic needs due to emerging and re-emerging diseases.
- To upgrade and introduce new facilities at NPHL.
- To introduce new technology for specified test not available at other laboratories
- To strengthen overall capacity of health laboratory services through NEQAS and supervision and monitoring.
- To procure quality equipment and reagents according to the need.
- To practice Good Laboratory practice (GLP) by all the laboratories in the country.
- To assist the laboratory in introducing specialized tests by NPHL.
Organizational Structure (Organogram) of National Public health Laboratory (NPHL)
NPHL Units and Department
- The National Influenza Centre
- National External Quality Assurance Scheme (NEQAS)
- National Bureau for Blood Transfusion Services (NBBTS)
- Biomedical Engineering and maintenance
- Quality Control and Training Section
- Japanese Encephalitis, Measles and Rubella Laboratory (JE/Measles Polio Department)
- National Reference laboratory for AIDS and STD Control (HIV Reference Laboratory)
- Non-Communicable Disease Department (Four sections (Haematology, Biochemistry, Endocrinology and Histo-Cytopathology)
Major Routine Activities:
- Routine and specialized diagnostic services including services of referral laboratory.
- Public health related activities (laboratory based surveillance [AES/Japanese encephalitis, measles/rubella, polio, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), influenza)], HIV reference unit, National Influenza Centre, BSL-3 laboratory and outbreak investigation).
- Training and workshops.
- Logistics procurement and supply and laboratory refurbishment.
- Supervision and monitoring, licensing lab & BTSCS.
- National External Quality Assurance Scheme (haematology, biochemistry, gram stain, microbiology, AMR on selected bacterial pathogens and TTIs).
- Polio containment and its accreditation.
- Assisting MoHP for preparing medical laboratory related, policy, legislation and guidelines.
- Procurement of especial types of kits and reagents and equipments for provincial and local level government laboratories.
- General administration functions.
- AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) Surveillance activities