Testing Services & Capacity Building

Accessing Our Services

All requests for laboratory tests and outbreak support must be channelled through the designated National Reference/ Public Health Laboratory or the Ministry of Health.

The following minimum information must accompany each specimen

1. A labelled specimen container with the following information:

  • National Patient ID/Laboratory Number
  • Date of collection
  • Specimen type

2.Completed CARPHA Laboratory Investigation form Click here to download

The Laboratory has a web-based Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Countries will be trained in its use. Once fully implemented the method of submission of information will change.

For more information refer to the Laboratory User Manual

3. Notification of Incoming Shipments of Specimens

Referred specimens must always be prepared, packaged and transported in accordance with current international shipping guidelines and IATA regulations.

1.Send an email to customerservice@carpha.orgwith the following information-

  • Test/s being requested
  • Number of samples per test requested
  • Completed Air Way Bill (AWB) and CARICOM Invoice

2.Await feedback on completeness of documents and confirmation to proceed with shipment.

3.Ensure accuracy, legibility and completeness of shipment documents then proceed with shipment.

4.Send an email to customerservice@carpha.org with a notification that the shipment is en-route.

5.Address all packages as follows:

  • Executive Director of CARPHA
  • Dr. Joy St. John
  • The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
  • 16-18 Jamaica Boulevard
  • Federation Park

Accessing our 24/7 Emergency Service


CARPHA’s Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) based in Port-of-Spain operates routinely every Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

However, we understand that events may occur which requires laboratory diagnosis or confirmation outside of this routine e.g. weekends, public holidays and emergency situations.

In order to provide accurate and timely laboratory results for your decision making please use the following steps.

1. Contact the Head, Laboratory Services and Networks directly at 1-868-324-0869 (C) or escobaga@carpha.org, to conduct a rapid risk assessment for the submission of laboratory samples under emergency conditions.

Examples include:

  • Suspected acute case(s) of Measles or Rubella (imported and/or indigenous),
  • Cases of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) associated with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) or fatal cases where Influenza virus is suspected.
  • An emerging event of public health importance e.g. suspected case of an exotic disease,
  • Unknown, epidemic-prone fatal diseases

2. Once there is agreement to submit specimens, proceed with the shipment. Ensure compliance with proper packaging and completion of required documentation e.g. CARICOM Invoice.

3. The Head, Laboratory Services and Networks will activate the internal response to ensure the specimens are processed promptly on arrival at CMML

Capacity Building
Capacity building

CMML assists national laboratories with the implementation of sustainable quality management systems through assessments and targeted training programmes to improve the quality, efficiency and timeliness of national laboratory services for the detection, containment and response as part of infectious disease surveillance.

Programmes include:

  • Laboratory assessments using the Laboratory Quality Management System Stepwise Improvement Process (LQMS-SIP)
  • Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity Practices and Infectious Substances Shipping Training Click here for more (Training materials)
  • Technology transfer: Molecular Detection of Arboviruses and Respiratory Diseases e.g. Influenza, Tuberculosis; Immunofluorescence Assays for the Detection of Respiratory Viruses; Serology Methods for the Detection of Arboviruses; etc.