NHLS 101

NHLS 101

The GeneXpert programme has enabled significant progress towards taking control of South Africa’s devastating TB epidemic.
The GeneXpert programme has enabled significant progress towards taking control of South Africa’s devastating TB epidemic.

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.

+ Tests

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.