THE NATIONAL HEALTH LABORATORY SERVICE
is a public network of laboratories in all nine provinces. It conducts diagnostic tests, produces highly acclaimed research, and provides teaching and training for technicians, technologists and pathologists.
+ SA’s largest diagnostic pathology service
It is the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa, providing public health services to more than 80%
of the population. The NHLS is responsible for most HIV tests in the public health system and has the largest viral load programme in Africa.
+ The GeneXpert programme
Through the GeneXpert programme, the Service has also led the country-wide implementation of a rapid, molecular
diagnostic test for tuberculosis, which increases the pick-up rate of TB even in people who are HIV-positive. The diagnostic test has made significant steps to take control of South Africa’s devastating TB epidemic.
+ Screening for cervical cancer
In addition to its work in the areas of HIV and TB, the NHLS also plays a critical role in screening for cervical cancer.
It offers a wide-range of tests from Antitrypsin to Zinc
(see www.nhls.ac.za/assets/files/TAD%20Lab%20Handbook.pdf), including paternity testing.
+ Specialised divisions
The Service’s specialised divisions include the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, National Institute for Occupational Health, National Cancer Registry and Anti-venom Unit.