Thursday, 18 October 2018

Immninisable Diseases Unit

Immunisable Diseases Unit     

The Immunisable Diseases Unit started work on the polio virus in the 1950s. Vaccine efficacy studies started in 1960’s. In the 1970’s work on polio and measles diseases and their vaccines continued. In 1999, the laboratory was designated as a WHO inter-country polio and measles laboratory surveillance. It has since served various countries in response to a WHO request. Sequencing technology for measles and rubella was established in the laboratory. This capacity will be used to expand the scope of work at the lab and the Institute in general. Currently the laboratory serves Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. In 2000 the Division was designated a WHO Regional Referral laboratory and is currently serving Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Comoros.

The Unit lab is mandated to conduct surveillance and research on vaccine preventable diseases in support of Uganda National Expanded Program for Immunization (UNEPI). It also provides laboratory support for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance to countries in the Great Lakes Region. It functions as a WHO measles regional reference laboratory (training, QC testing, accreditation visits, distribution of supplies, lab testing and research).

The Unit is mandated to:
•    Carry out surveillance and research on vaccine preventable diseases to support UNEPI, WHO, MOH and partners.
•    Provide lab support for AFP surveillance for the countries in the Great Lakes Region.
•    Function as a WHO Measles Regional Reference Laboratory.
•    Conduct vaccine efficacy studies.


  • To conduct laboratory backed surveillance and related research on measles, polio and other vaccine preventable diseases in support of the Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI)
  • To carry out laboratory analysis of AFP samples delivered from within the country and the countries served.  Analysis is done in cell cultures and at molecular levels. 
  • To carry out laboratory analysis of measles samples in support of the measles control strategies.  Analysis is done at serological and molecular levels. 
  • To distribute measles, rubella kits and PT panels to the national laboratories served in the region. 
  • To offer laboratory expertise and training in the area of vaccine preventable diseases to health workers, students of higher education and affiliated net work laboratories served in the region.
  • To maintain high standard bio-safety and bio-security procedures essential for the containment of polio as a pre-requisite in the eradication era and to contain other infectious agents handled in the laboratory.
  • To provide laboratory support on vaccination programs through laboratory based vaccine potency tests,  field support during vaccination activities, field monitoring of proper vaccine administration,  laboratory based detection of adverse events following vaccination (AEFI)  and establishment of sero-conversion following vaccination.


Unit Division Studies


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