The mandate of the Institute under the enabling Act of 1977:
Communicable Diseases of Public Health importance in the country
Non-Communicable Diseases prevalent in the country
Basic, applied and operational research for the prevention and control of diseases endemic in the country in co-operation with the Federal and State Ministries of Health
Develop human and infrastructural capacities for clinical and biomedical research in collaboration with Medical Schools, Universities and other Health-related Institutions, in and outside Nigeria
Disseminate the results of health research in the country through training courses, scientific publications, conferences, workshops and other communication channels to the Federal and States Ministries of Health, relevant stakeholders in the Public and Private sectors as well as the general public.