This article is part of the network’s archive of useful research information. This article is closed to new comments due to inactivity. We welcome new content which can be done by submitting an article for review or take part in discussions in an open topic or submit a blog post to take your discussions online.

I would like to introduce a very useful and pragmatic guide book for setting up, equipping and running a health laboratory, called Manual of Basic Techniques for a Health Laboratory, published by the WHO in 2003. It is available in printed form, or for download free of charge from the WHO website via this link.

Its intended for use mainly in medical laboratories in developing countries, particularly in peripheral laboratories (e.g. in small or medium-sized laboratories attached to regional hospitals), and in dispensaries and rural health centres where, often, one technician has to work alone.

The examination described can be carried out with a microscope or another simple apparatus, e.g. stool examination for helminth eggs, blood examination for malaria parasites, or a differential leukocyte count. It also provides guidance on the identification of the different parasites found in human specimens, how chemical reagents are being prepared, calibration of laboratory equipment, and much more.

It would be great to hear about users' experiences with the guide - are there any subjects that are missing, or should be described in more detail? Please leave your feedback below!