National Virology Reference Laboratory (NVRL) was formed in May 2017. The NVRL has both a stationary laboratory and two mobile laboratories. The stationary laboratory is at the National Public Health Laboratories Block B first floor, located within the Kenyatta National Hospital grounds behind NASCOP and next to the Kenya National Blood Transfusion. The two mobile laboratories are part of NVRL and are deployed in the event of an outbreak.

The NVRL plays a critical role in diagnosis/referral services, surveillance and monitoring of viral disease dynamics as well as supporting the laboratory component in responding to outbreaks. Since its inception, the NVRL has responded to several suspected outbreaks using molecular diagnostics including multiplex PCR technology to confirm Dengue virus infection along the Kenyan coast, SARS-COV-2 testing among truck drivers/Healthcare workers/ travelers and rule out suspected viral hemorrhagic fevers associated with arboviral infections in Marsabit, Wajir etc.

Further to this, the lab has also been involved in training of healthcare workers on safety and quality assurance in testing using selected rapid diagnostics. The laboratory has greatly contributed to the development of the SOPs and guidelines for the East Africa Community (EAC) regional mobile lab project. The personnel played a key role in the assessment of COVID-19 testing labs among partner states in the EAC region. It is also envisaged that with the upcoming biosafety level 3 and cell culture facilities, the laboratory will further strengthen its diagnostic capacity to handle more dangerous viral pathogens associated with outbreaks within and around East-Africa.
Currently the mobile labs are involved in testing of truck driver at the Namanga One Stop Border post in Kajiado County and at Mai Mahiu Container depot, Naivasha Sub County.

Test menu

Test Walk-in/Referral service Free/chargeable Expected TAT 
SARS-COV-2 Referral Service Free 24 hours 
Rift Valley Fever Virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Dengue (Including subtyping) Referral service Free 24 hours 
Chikungunya virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Zika virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Rabies virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Viral hepatitis (B, C) Referral service Free 24 hours 
Monkeypox virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Emerging and re-emerging viral infections e.g. EBOLA, Marburg Referral service Free 24 hours 
West Nile Virus Referral service Free 24 hours 
Yellow fever Referral service Free 24 hours 
AIDS-associated viral opportunistic infections (Epstain BV, VZV, HSV) Referral service Free 24 hours 
Gastroenteritis viruses Referral service Free 24 hours