Build Health International

Project Introduction

The reference laboratory at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais is Haiti’s first public-sector pathology laboratory and includes the Caribbean's first fixed Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab for highly infectious diseases. Opened in 2016, the lab provides clinicians access to advanced diagnostics, allowing for more advanced hematological and serological analyses, and the ability to analyze surgical biopsy results on-site. These capabilities enable rapid diagnoses and administration of life-saving treatment plans for patients.

Build Health International

Project Information

  • Square Feet
  • Timeline
    July 2014 - April 2016
  • Operational Partners
    Partners in Health & Zanmi Lasante
& Design
& Equip
& Maintain
Build Health International

Project Description

The National Clinical Reference Laboratory in Mirebalais is Haiti’s first public-sector pathology laboratory and contains the Caribbean's first permanent Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab for highly infectious diseases. BHI designed and built the lab for Partners In Health as a clinically significant addition to the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais campus.

For this project, BHI employed the many lessons learned from constructing HUM while collaborating with experts from Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the architecture firm Shepley Bullfinch. Throughout the process BHI worked to ensure a sustainable and energy efficient laboratory. The design and construction allows for local staff to to maintain the facility, and the lab was allows for continued growth, diagnostic advances, and expertise.

The reference laboratory currently provides surgeons with the ability to diagnose and treat surgical pathology, enabling rapid, highly accurate diagnoses to inform life-saving treatment plans for thousands of patients each year. Diagnosis of infectious diseases—including HIV, drug-resistant tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis, cholera, Zika, and chikungunya—will be possible in this new facility, as well as the monitoring of treatment for HIV-positive patients on antiretroviral therapy. The laboratory also enables Haitian laboratory technicians to receive advanced training in their field, serves as a national training facility, and facilitates more advanced research to be conducted in Haiti.

“The opening of Mirebalais Reference Laboratory for Diagnostic and Research means that thousands of patients every year will receive highly accurate diagnoses and the quality care that they need. It means more Haitian lab technicians will receive advanced training in the fields. And it means more original research will be conducted to expand the existing body of knowledge on infectious and chronic diseases worldwide.” –PIH Press Release