Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Rawalpindi is a premier reference diagnostic laboratory of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It is situated near CMH Rawalpindi.
Referral laboratory of the Armed Forces lab specimens are received from all over the country. Pathology tests involve the laboratory testing of blood, body fluids and tissues. Blood tests, urine tests and stool tests are more common types of pathology tests. It also offers numbers of tests that investigate functional, biochemical, nutritional, metabolic and hormonal states of health. More than 600,000 tests are done annually in the departments of Transfusion medicine, Microbiology, Haematology, Chemical Pathology, Histopathology, Dermatopathology, Cytopathology, Forensic pathology, Molecular, Virology and Immunology. Tissue typing, Thalium Scan and Isotope studies are also done here. More than 15000 blood donations and more than 60000 Serological tests done per year. The research papers has been written and published in greater numbers and all the work is expanding to different fields of pathology.
In past Rawalpindi was the headquarters of the northern Command of the India. Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and Military Hospital (MH) were the largest and the most well-equipped hospitals in this area at that time. Alongside these major hospitals and field medical services, a pathology laboratory. The troops of British Indian Army were were exposed to the tropical climate. The major bulk of their health related problems were of tropical infections and parasitic infestation. The diagnosis of these diseases was based upon the rudimentary laboratory service. The need for pathology services was, therefore, recognized even in those days. A well organized and up to the mark pathology organization was established. That was the time when experienced pathologists, especially, those dealing with the tropical pathology, served in IMS.
In 1947 Lt Col Sarup Narayan was the first Commanding Officer of this laboratory, at the time of independence. He had happily opted to stay and serve in Pakistan. However, due to obvious reasons, he felt it difficult to continue living in Pakistan and he had to migrate to India for personal reasons. He was a very brilliant and hardworking pathologist. Pakistan Army Medical Corps (AMC) was established from the fragmented available resources. Two senior IMS officers, Lt Gen S.M.A. Faruki and Lt Gen Wajid Ali Khan Burki played a key role in early formative years of Army Medical Corps. Shortly afterwards the Command Lab. at Rawalpindi was raised to the status of the Central Military Pathological Laboratory (CMPL).
It is commanded currently by Major General Muhammad Ayyub, HI(M) the senior most pathologist of the Armed Forces who is usually a Major General. He has held the highest professional appointment in Armed Forces, Advisor in Pathology, Professor of Pathology, Army Medical College, Dean Faculty of Pathology CPSP and President Pakistan Society of Haematology. Presently he is working as Commandant Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Rawalpindi.
Along with providing all diagnostic facilities AFIP is also serving as a best teaching institute of a country. It contains Teaching Labs, Practicing labs with each department of pathology and Conference Rooms , Farruki Auditorium where number of national and international conferences arrange ever year regarding pathology, basic medical sciences, epidemiology etc. Every year it trains number of Laboratory Technicians, Clinical Laboratory Scientists, Pathologists, Medical researchers from various degree programmes in each discipline of pathology and they are serving in the diagnostic labs in various hospitals in all over the country. Blessed are the people who have chance to learn and practice here. In fact pathology laboratory is a basic need of every hospital and it involves 75% of patient diagnosis. Quality of testing and reporting must be accurate and reliable. Armed forces institute of pathology is playing a crucial role in this context.
Being a student of clinical laboratory sciences I really feel an honour to get my graduate training in pathology and research here. Every new day in my life at AFIP brings a new opportunity and experiences in exciting learning. I am thankful to all of my great teachers for teaching very transferable skills: logics, problem solving, diagnosing and working together. If you love scientific reasoning and what’s behind every disease don’t miss to study Pathology it’s versatile but more fascinating!