Author(s): MS Thobela, MR Maseme and BM Duma

Source: J Lab Med 2022.

Abstract: The National Biobank of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is a national treasure established to serve as support infrastructure for the provision of high quality human biological materials for research purposes and it represents the first of its kind in South Africa. This article aims to demonstrate the alignment of the NHLS Biobank to international best practices and guidelines with reference to the 13 sections of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Best Practices for Repositories (4th ed.). The NHLS Biobank has implemented procedures and management strategies that are technical best practices covering the lifecycle of biobanking (collection, processing, storage and dissemination of human biological materials) while having respect for ethical and regulatory processes, upholding the interest of the donors. ISBER best practices are invaluable sources of guidance and benchmarking on the guiding principles has enabled the NHLS Biobank to develop into an entity with infrastructure and operational activities that support its short-term and long-term objectives that are set out in the business plan.

Keywords: human biological materials; international best practices; National Biobank; quality management; research; South Africa