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Uganda National Health Services Bio repository is an establishment at the Uganda National Health Laboratory Services(UNHLS) storing  a variety of specimen types such as Dried Blood Spots (DBS), plasma, swabs, urine, microbiology isolates received through some of the various ongoing Health Programmes such as the Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), HIV viral load testing, Sickle cell testing and Outbreak surveillance from health facilities across the country .The UNHLS bio-repository also stores remnants of clinical samples from research institutions, external research projects and principal investigators, providing the ethical framework to collect and store samples according to regulatory requirements, and ensures fair access to the samples for research purposes.

The national coverage nature of specimen received at UNHLS provides a unique opportunity to investigate questions of national public health or policy importance in a speedy and cost effective manner. The UNHS bio-repository improves accountability, promote research ethics to minimize biosecurity risks that could raise from uncontrolled storage and use of biological specimen.


The UNHLS bio-repository is owned by the Government of Uganda under the custodianship of Uganda National Health Laboratories Services (UNHLS) and its activities are overseen by the Ethics legal and social implications committee (ELSI). ELSI receives requests and approves access to bio-repository specimens based on the scientific soundness of the proposed research, and prospective benefits of expected outcome, and also monitors the activities directly arising from released specimen put to intended use and adherence to ethical research conduct.

The day to day running of the bio-repository activities are done by trained laboratory technologists under the supervision of the bio-repository manager

STORAGE CAPACITY                                                                                         

 UNHS bio-repository has a number of ultra-low freezers, - 200   freezers and a 12ft by 4ft cold room for storage of bio specimen in appropriate conditions. The biorepository also employs liquid nitrogen tanks for appropriate storage of samples.





Storage capacity for biological specimen, remnants of clinical samples from research institutions, external research projects and principal investigators

A variety of national coverage samples for research purposes



  1. HIV positive DBS samples
  2. HIV positive Plasma samples
  3. Microbiology isolates
  4. Hepatitis B positive DBS samples
  5. Hepatitis B positive plasma samples
  6. Sickle cell trait positive DBS samples



  • Apply for ethical approval from a research ethics committee(RECs)
  • Download the application form here
  • Application form will be assessed by the Ethics legal and social implications committee (ELSI) and you will be contacted with feedback


  • Researchers interested to use the bio specimen stored in the UNHSB are required to submit the research proposals to RECs for review and approval
  • Associated data if required, shall be de-identified/de-linked of patient information 
  • If the samples required need to be linked to identifiers, the RECs may decide on a case-by-case basis


Our standard Business hours:
Mon-Fri – 8:30am to 5pm
Sat-Sun - Closed


Mr.SSewanyana Isaac

Lab Director NHLS

Ministry of Health

Ms. Hellen Nansumba

Bio-repository manager

National Health Laboratory and Diagnostic Services

Ministry of Health Uganda