TB LABORATORY TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP MEETING ORGANISED BY NTBLCP IN COLLABORATION WITH IHVN & SUPPORTED BY GLOBAL FUND, MAY 24-26, 2017.
TB diagnosis and management is largely dependent on laboratory diagnosis. While AFB microscopy remained the basic laboratory examination for a presumptive PTB case in Nigeria, diagnosis of PTB cases has received massive boost with the introduction of rapid molecular testing which scale up has been adopted by all TB stakeholders in Nigeria. This new diagnostic policy has improved the quality of TB diagnosis in Nigeria and has increased the detection of RIF resistant cases among TB cases notified.
The laboratory is structured in a pyramidal form with the two National Reference Laboratories (NLRs), located at the National TB and Leprosy Training Centre (NTBLTC), Zaria and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Lagos, in the northern and southern parts of the country, respectively. While the Zaria NRL is structurally located within the NTBLCP, NIMR in the other hand is a parastatal within the Federal Ministry of Health. The NRLs are affiliated with the supranational reference laboratory (SRL) in Milan, Italy from which they get laboratory related programmatic and technical support.
The Zonal Reference Laboratories (ZRLs) are strategically located in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and are sited within university teaching hospitals. The programme also enjoy the services of the only state reference laboratory which is located at the Dr. Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar and has the capacity to perform culture, DST for first-line TB drugs and molecular assays (LPA and GeneXpert). Zankli Medical Centre which is integrated into the laboratory network through a memorandum of understanding with the NTBLCP still remains the only private hospital in Nigeria which apart from contributing to the diagnosis of tuberculosis through microscopy, culture, DST, GeneXpert services also support various research projects as it relates to TB diagnosis in Nigeria.