Junior Laboratory Advisor – Ethiopia

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is looking for a fulltime:

Junior Laboratory Advisor

Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis (TB), still the deadliest infectious disease in the world. KNCV is an international center of expertise for TB control that promotes effective, efficient, innovative and sustainable tuberculosis control strategies in a national and international context.  We are an organization of passionate TB professionals, including doctors, researchers, training experts, nurses and epidemiologists. We aim to stop the spread of the worldwide epidemic of TB and to prevent the further spread of drug-resistant TB.

Background

Diagnosis of TB in children is made difficult by children not being able to expectorate sputum, which leads to both overdiagnosis on clinical grounds and incorrect treatment due to lack of drug resistance profiles. A non-sputum-based sample, such as stool, which could be run on the Xpert MTB/RIF cartridge could provide bacteriological confirmation of disease, along with information on resistance to rifampicin. Different processing protocols for stool specimens have been developed that warrant evaluation, most of which are technically complex and require specific reagents and/or equipment. KNCV has developed a simple one-step stool processing method with no specific infrastructure or equipment requirements that has the potential to improve access to rapid diagnostic confirmation and appropriate treatment for children.

People living with HIV (PLHIV) often also find expectoration of sputum challenging and therefore are often either not diagnosed, or given a smear-negative diagnosis, with no possibility for drug resistance testing. Use of a non-sputum-based sample, such as urine, has been proven to work well to diagnose TB in PLHIV. This could confirm TB infection and would lead to more accurate diagnosis and earlier treatment for PLHIV. It is hypothesized that the use of a screening algorithm that incorporates symptom  screening, CD4 testing, Xpert MTB/RIF and urine LAM testing  (FujiLAM) will increase the yield of bacteriologically confirmed TB cases, reduce time to TB diagnosis and treatment, and improve patient outcomes among PLHIV.

KNCV is implementing projects focusing on providing children in Ethiopia with access to non-invasive diagnostic methods for TB and to assess how the above two diagnostic interventions (stool testing for children and urine testing for PLHIV) can be incorporated into diagnostic algorithms to allow for improved diagnosis of TB in children and PLHIV, and generate implementation guidance to support WHO policy recommendations.

Purpose of the position

KNCV is looking for a Junior Laboratory Advisor that will support the implementation of the non-invasive diagnostic methods for TB in children and PLHIV in selected study health facilities in Ethiopia.

Position in the organization

The Junior Laboratory Advisor will report to the Project Coordinator and s/he will work in close coordination with the Senior Laboratory Advisor.

Duties and responsibilities

The Junior Laboratory Advisor will be responsible for day-to-day coordination and facilitation of sample processing procedures and ensure that standards are maintained during the sample processing and transportation.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Support implementation of KNCV’s study objectives related to stool and urine testing for TB diagnosis;
  • Support the overall specimen transport and results feedback system, communication and strengthening of the networks of the GeneXpert sites;
  • Provide technical assistance to the health facilities during supportive supervision and review meetings;
  • Ensure that records are maintained at facility level and reported to EPHI and the KNCV country office;
  • Prepare site-specific project progress reports to KNCV country office on a pre-defined basis.
  • Facilitate targeted supervision to study health facilities that require focused technical support such as mentoring, monitoring and supervision;
  • Assist the site study coordinators to strengthen and coordinate an effective referral system of TB patients or samples;
  • Ensure the availability and utilization of sample processing and sample transportation SOPs related to the implementation of stool study and pilot work;
  • Develop close working relationships with the study health facilities and other stakeholders that have responsibility for eligible participants identification, sample collection, data recording, sample referral and sample processing;
  • Facilitate sample transportation and improve communication of test results between health facility and GeneXpert site;
  • Work with central KNCV staff to effectively address operational challenges such as training preparation, supply needs, and the timely cascade of the supportive supervision and review meetings;
  • Regularly monitor the data collection and study implementation, and prepare report;
  • Perform other duties appropriate to the position as required and as assigned by the project coordinator.

Who are we looking for?

  • Sc. in medical Laboratory Technology/Science is essential, MSc/MPH is desirable;
  • Minimum of 4 years of post-qualification experience including experience on working in TB laboratory (including TB culture lab and Xpert MTB/RIF);
  • Sound knowledge of basic principles, techniques and safety procedures and quality management in the laboratory system;
  • Sound skills of standard sample collection, handling and processing;
  • Previous experience as study coordinator for microbiology studies or equivalent experience in TB program is desirable;
  • Skills to work with standard biosafety guidelines, keeping the general infection control precautions;
  • Experience in working with the sub-city/zonal or regional TB program and building the capacity of laboratory experts TB diagnostics will be preferred;
  • Excellent communication, and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with culturally diverse partners;
  • Computer literacy; competency with Microsoft Office, excel, internet and e-mail systems,
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Amharic is required;
  • Ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with colleagues and partners;
  • Willingness to travel frequently to the study sites within Addis Ababa and occasionally beyond;
  • Good interpersonal skills with experience in networking with partners at all levels (EPHI, sub-cties/zones, districts, and health facilities);
  • Ability to cope with a demanding work environment and to organize and prioritize workload.

What does KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation offer?

  • A fixed-term contract for a year with a possibility for extension;
  • An informal work atmosphere in an international environment where a pro-active mentality is appreciated;
  • A highly-motivated-team of experienced, self-driven colleagues;
  • The salary is dependent upon education and relevant working experience;
  • KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation has its own Employment Conditions Scheme;
  • Full-time employment consists of 40 hours per week.

Application and information

You can apply for this position by submitting your CV, including a motivation letter and 3 professional references before 20 December 2019.

Please note that we only consider the applications that are received through the KNCV website. Applicants that are sent to recruit email account are not taken into consideration.