iLEAD Mozambique Laboratories

iLEAD’s network partner in Mozambique has the following specialist laboratory facilities in Maputo at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS):

  • Cellular Immunology (Flow Cytometry, ICS, FCLPA, ELISPOT, PBMC Isolation)
  • Serology lab (ELISA, Western blot)
  • Parasitology lab (Molecular Parasitology, Microscopy)
  • Virus Isolation
  • Molecular Virology (EID, Virus viral load)
  • TB Reference Laboratory
  • Microbiology


Maputo, Mozambique

The Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS) in Maputo is responsible for directorship of scientific affairs and business administration, and has five departments: Laboratory Technology, Surveillance, Laboratory Network and Reference Services, Training and Communications, and Research. The Laboratory Technology Department comprises the divisions of molecular virology, virus isolation, cellular immunology, serology, parasitology, bacteriology and entomology. All divisions have a Quality Management System (QMS) in place and participate in local and international proficiency testing (PT) schemes such as QASI, CDC, Thistle and NHLS, which encompasses bacteriology, Cryptococcus, DNA PCR, Gram stain, GeneXpert MTB/RIF, HBV, HCV, HIV serology, Malaria microscopy and serology, Syphilis serology, tuberculosis smear microscopy and CD4 counting. Each division provides routine standard of care testing in the public sector to the Ministry of Health. The Surveillance Department is responsible for statistical analysis, data management and outbreak monitoring and a strategic group focused on epidemiology training, surveillance in high-risk groups, and population surveillance. The Training and Communications Department is responsible for technical training and certification in the laboratory environment, career development and capacity building as well as sustaining the National Health Library. The Laboratory Network and Reference Service provides PT scheme material and programs, monitors laboratory quality and performance through site visits and, provide technical assistance GCP and GCLP trainings for lab technicians from reference labs under the INS. The Department of Research manages clinical trials, performs operational research, and executes laboratory/technology evaluations.

The national priority diseases in Mozambique are HIV, TB and Malaria, with increasing concern around sexually transmitted diseases, emerging/re-emerging diseases and NCD. The Director General’s position includes direct engagement and involvement with the Institutional Bioethics, Biosafety and Quality Committees as well as a direct link to the research centers involved in clinical trials (responsible specifically for HIV and TB), operational research and surveillance in surrounding provinces.  Overall the Mozambique Ministry of Health is responsible for the INS clinical diagnostic laboratories as well as the Medical Services (including the lab network and point of care testing sites). These clinical diagnostic laboratories are within a tiered system: ten reference laboratories (level 5), three central hospital laboratories (level 4), eight provincial laboratories (level 3), 56 general and rural laboratories (level 2) and 277 health center laboratories (level 1).  In total these comprise RDT HIV and malaria sites as well as six EID HIV PCR laboratories, one HIV drug resistance profiling laboratory, 45 CD4 testing laboratories (servicing 166 sites) and three TB reference laboratories.

Areas of strength within the INS laboratory service are qualified human resources that support all levels of the laboratory network, a broad infrastructure to manage relevant clinical and laboratory trials and evaluations, as well as technical support through ongoing site visits, EQA and accreditation implementation. SLMTA and SLIPTA programs are in place in all provinces of Mozambique, with provincial mentors from the MoH holding responsibility to implement the programs across level 2 to level 4 laboratories. The INS TB reference and cellular immunology laboratories have techniques accredited by the Instituto Português para Acreditação (IPAC). Connectivity is growing; with an LIS linking all reference laboratories to provincial and central hospital laboratories and SMS printers available to receive EID and GeneXpert MTB/RIF results in certain remote areas. Dashboards for POC-CD4 errors and EID and VL turn-around time management are available. Across the laboratory, clinical, bioethics and statistics functions; the group is responsible for contributing to guideline documents, conference and meeting presentations and publications. Partners of the group include CDC Mozambique, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, CHAI, UNITAD, ASLM, American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Friends in Global Health (FGH), Family Health International (FHI) 360, Human Appeal International (HAI) and WHO amongst others.

Mozambique Team

Dr Ilesh Jani

Co-Investigator of iLEAD – MD PhD
Country Lead: Mozambique

Dr Ilesh Jani is the Director General of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (National Institute of Health) in Mozambique. Dr. Jani’s research interests involve HIV/AIDS vaccines and point-of-care laboratory tests, including the deployment of these technologies in resource-limited health systems.

Dr. Jani is currently leading various projects in the areas of research, public health and education with the objective of strengthening the health system in Mozambique. He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), a member of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunisation and he is a member of the Program Committee of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

João Baptista

Budget and Finance Lead

João Baptista is the Budget and Finance Lead at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS). Currently, he is the head of Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) between the INS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), positioned within the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

He controls all administrative and financial activities of the project and has extensive expertise in financial management of several INS projects.

Dr Sofia Viegas

General Laboratory Advisor

Dr Sofia Viegas, PhD, is the overall laboratory advisor for iLEAD in Maputo, Mozambique, providing technical and scientific advice for all laboratory activities. Dr Viegas has been a researcher at INS since 2006. Her previous work at INS has included coordination of the bacteriology laboratory (2010 to 2011) and coordination of the activities of the Tuberculosis reference laboratories (2011 to 2015).

She is also Head of the Department of Laboratory Network and Reference Services at INS. Her main research interests include Tuberculosis and laboratory diagnostics.

Nádia Sitoe

Project Manager

Nádia Sitoe, MSc, is the head of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (National Institute of Health) in Mozambique. Her research interests include immunology of HIV/AIDS and its coinfection and point-of-care testing for HIV.

Currently, she is the laboratory coordinator of the TB sequel multicentre study, in Mozambique. She has experience in working as biologist in a CD4 testing network and in laboratory quality system management. Nadia is the Project Manager for iLEAD Mozambique.