Functions of the National Health Laboratory.

  1. The National Health Laboratory shall establish and operate state of the art Core Laboratories capable of performing all complex, modern measurements on human materials in terms of chemical, biological, immunological, bacteriological, virological, and molecular analysis.
  2. The Laboratory shall perform such functions as are directed and assigned by the Federal Government or the Board.
  3. The Laboratory shall serve as a reference laboratory for uncommonly available tests including new research tests and shall collaborate with research investigators to provide tests and analyses.

Public Health Laboratories Division

Public Health Laboratories Division (PHLD) provide laboratory support to public and private sectors for timely detection, prevention and control, of infectious diseases during outbreaks and epidemics. This division serves as the only WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Viral Diagnostics in Pakistan since 1980s. PHLD houses one of the six (06) Regional Reference Laboratories for Poliomyelitis. Also executing lab-based surveillance programs on Human-Avian-Swine Influenza and Bacterial Meningitis with the technical assistance from Centres for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta, USA and WHO.This Division comprises of the Departments of Virology/Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Hematology, Histopathology, Cytogenetic, Chemical Pathology, Immunology, Electron Microscopy, Reproductive Physiology and Parasitology. This Division is providing necessary diagnostic facilities for zoonotic diseases.The PHLD delivers routine and specialized laboratory services for public health issues as the apex national reference public health laboratory in Pakistan for communicable diseases including Dengue, Avian Influenza, Congo, SARS, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and Polio, Measles etc.


Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance has become a major crisis across the globe including Pakistan. Pakistan joined in the international endorsement of The AMR Global Action Plan in 2015. The Ministry of NHSR&C formed an Intersectoral Core Steering committee to oversee the process of developing a national AMR policy. The commitment led to the development of a National AMR Strategic Framework for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (2016) and an operational AMR National Action Plan (2017). National Institutes of Health is designated as national focal point for National International Health Regulation (IHR) and AMR by Ministry of NHSR&C. GLASS has been implemented by NIH since 2016, and it has led to development of Pakistan AMR Surveillance system in 2018 (PASS).



The department of Virology is one of the oldest departments of NIH and was established in late 1970s to provide research on human viral diseases. Currently, department is engaged in research, Patient-care related diagnostic services and reference activities related to Polioviruses, entero-viruses, influenza viruses, measles virus, rubella virus, Hepatitis A, B, C viruses, hemorrhagic fever viruses, arbo-viruses, neuro-viruses, etc.

The division has established eight lab-based Influenza Surveillance sentinel sites i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Gilgit and Muzaffarbad (AJ&K) for influenza surveillance and diagnostic services. Influenza strains are also been provided to for annual flu vaccine composition for the region. The trends are regularly been provided to fluent website maintained by WHO.