The laboratory of the Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine in Tambaram Sanatorium has received accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), Department of Science and Technology.

The latest recognition is just another in the long history of this 85-year-old institution, which has already become a Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS care and has also been treating people affected by Tuberculosis.

The accreditation certificate was formally handed over to the institution by S. Geethalakshmi, dean, Stanley Medical College and Government Hospital, in a ceremony on Monday morning.

The GHTM lab is only the second laboratory to receive this recognition after the one in Madras Medical College (a National Reference Lab) and the only one to receive the same among State Reference Laboratories in Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. While a National Reference Lab is a nodal institution, the State Reference Laboratories comes under its umbrella.

The modest lab was created when GHTM was started in the campus along the margins of Grand Southern Trunk Road in 1928. It was upgraded and renovated completely in 2003with generous financial support from Centre for Disease Control, Government of the United States of America, in association with the Central and State government – Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS), said C. Chandrashekar, superintendent, GHTM.

Dr. Chandrashekar said the receipt of the accreditation was the culmination of adherence to stringent norms as stipulated by NABL. Starting from collection of samples till the final step in determining the results, he said, great care had to be taken and they ensured that each of the 20 staff in the lab were completely trained, skilled and made “100 per cent competent and efficient.”

“The primary result of this accreditation will mean that results for tests done in the lab will be 100 per cent reliable, guaranteed to be on a part with tests conducted in the best of the labs anywhere in India or abroad,” Dr. Chandrashekar added. He said that nearly 150 tests were done in the lab everyday.

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