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National Microbiology Reference Laboratory

The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory is the first unit that started off the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) in 1983.It was established to provide laboratory support for the various vertical Disease Control Programs within the Ministry of Health, especially in disease surveillance and outbreak investigation.

Microbiology is the study of Micro-organisms (parasites, bacteria, fungi and viruses) , so the main purpose of this laboratory is to diagnose  infections caused by bacteria, fungi and parasites. With our sophisticated equipment and highly trained human resource, as a reference laboratory, we detect or confirm the causes of epidemics and local infections.

The core functions of the unit include:

  • Laboratory-based surveillance of communicable diseases
  • Disease outbreak investigation
  • Environmental hygiene monitoring (monitoring water sources, air, soil, for infectious agents)
  • Monitoring food hygiene (testing foods and beverages for infectious agents ) including hygiene of food handlers
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR monitoring – Monitoring the trend bacteria become resistant to the commonly used antibiotics.)

Roles we play/ what we do                                                                        

  • We respond to epidemics within Uganda  and cross boarder
  • We support surrounding health facilities with culture and sensitivity testing for purposes of managing their patients
  • We do environmental monitoring to prevent outbreaks
  • We monitor antibiotic resistance to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics and inform antibiotic policy development