National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory Project

By request of the DPRK’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Christian Friends of Korea and Stanford University School of Medicine have been in collaboration since 2008 to provide assistance to complete North Korea’s first national reverence-level tuberculosis laboratory. Since 2009, the Central TB (#3) Hospital in Pyongyang has undergone tremendous change, laying a foundation for its development into a center of excellence for national TB prevention and treatment efforts.



  • National TB Reference Lab: Located on the first floor of the Central TB (#3) Prevention Hospital, the 2,600+ square foot, 13 room, fully equipped lab was fully renovated and re-equipped in 2009-2010. Currently, the NTRL has the ability to perform WHO-recommended diagnostics, which include fluorescent acid-fast microscopy, culture-based TB identification methods, drug susceptibility testing by conventional culture methods, and molecular testing using GeneXpert technology.
  • Ongoing Medical/Laboratory Training: After starting training in 2010, laboratory staff are currently undergoing proficiency testing and method validation studies to demonstrate the level of performance required to obtain accurate and reliable results. Once proficiency and competency are attained, the lab will be able to implement national surveillance programs for both TB and MDR-TB, property monitor MDR-TB patients under treatment, and perform a national drug resistance survey. (See Doctor’s Training)
  • Hematology/Chemistry Training: This training is done by Dr. Marcia Kilsby, a continued trip participant, of Andrews University and Global Care Partners.
  • Operation Room Renovations:  In 2011, the operating theater was completely renovated and re-equipped.
  • Greenhouses: We also constructed a large passive-solar greenhouse in 2011; Greenhouses expand food production, especially during the cold winter months.
  • New Training Center: With new development has come an expanded need for training here at this facility to improve national TB prevention and treatment efforts. We were asked to build a second story onto an already existing building to provide expanded classroom and other spaces needed to support training activities. We hope to expand training in subjects, ranging from lab and TB treatment methods, to equipment use and maintenance, and other identified needs. The new training center was completed in May 2014. (See Construction Photos)

Contact Us

Christian Friends of Korea
P.O. Box 936
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Phone: 828-669-2355


Words of Truth

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

— Bible, 2 Corinthians 2:14
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