Our Sections

The NIOH consists of 6 key divisions: Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology; Occupational Hygiene; Pathology; Toxicology and Analytical Services; National Cancer Registry and Cytology. Each division has a specific focus and provides services and training to stakeholders, clients and students. The divisions often collaborate on research projects relevant to the health of the South African workforce. The primary functions of these divisions are: specialised services, advisory services, research, the development of  practitioners and scientists, and teaching and training.


The National Cytology Program is associated with the National Care Treatment and Management Programme / Cytology Cervical Cancer Screening, which is one of the three priority programs of the National Department of Health.

Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology

The goal of the Division is to contribute to the protection of the health of workers through functions that support effective occupational health services in South Africa and southern Africa. This division consists of three sections: Ocupational Medicine; Immunology and Microbiology and Epidemiology and Surveillance.



National Cancer Registry

The National Cancer Registry (NCR) is South Africa’s main cancer statistics source; it collates and analyses cancer cases diagnosed in pathology laboratories (both public and private) nationwide and reports annual cancer incidence rates stratified by sex, age and population groups.


The Pathology Division is involved in service work, research, and teaching and training. Due to its expertise in lung pathology, the Division is a referral centre for lung biopsies. It also offers an analytical electron microscopy service which is mainly utilised for the identification of asbestos to comply with the South African asbestos regulations.

Occupational Hygiene

The Occupational Hygiene Division provides information and advice about occupational health and safety to help promote safe and healthy working environments. The following services are available: hygiene surveys and health risk assessments, workplace monitoring to assess worker exposure to chemical and physical hazards,comprehensive asbestos service and an advisory service.

Toxicology and Analytical Services

This division comprises of two sections: Analytical services and the Toxicology and Biochemistry section. Each section is involved in research, training and service work.