Laboratory Advisor Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

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Purpose of the Position:

The TB Laboratory Advisor’s responsibilities will include overall strategic planning, coordination, and technical direction of laboratory activities for the project to ensure quality assured laboratory services to the beneficiaries in Dire Dawa Administration and Harari Region working in close collaboration with regional TB advisor. As the laboratory is an essential component in the continuum of TB diagnosis, care and treatment, s/he will work closely with the Regional TB Advisor, Urban TB Lab Advisor, TRAC and M&E Advisor and Urban Technical Coordinator ensure progress is being achieved towards ensuring quality laboratory services.

The Laboratory Advisor will assist regional reference laboratories (RRLs) to strengthen the External Quality Assessment (EQA) and Q/A systems in their catchment areas in collaboration with other partners. S/he will contribute to improve lab services at health facilities in the tow urban regions. S/he establishes, and/or reinforces innovative protocols for transfer of sputum smears from the community to health center labs and receipt of results back in a timely fashion. He /she will contribute to introduction and implementation of new TB diagnostic technologies.

S/he will ensure that effective systems are put in place to support reliable, user-friendly and accessible TB Program (NTP) of the MOH, RHB and PFSA to ensure that laboratory supervisory and monitoring systems, training, commodity and equipment management, Standard Operating Procedures are appropriately introduced, strengthened, and sustained. S/he will provide technical support to the laboratories as required.

S/he will be expected to maintain KNCV’s professional and procurement integrity standards in all activities.


  • Develop close working relationships with Regional Health Bureaus and RRLs in the two urban regions and other stakeholders that have responsibility for strengthening and improving TB microscopy capacity. Adapt existing procedures in place in regional laboratories to meet the needs of hospitals/health centers.
  • Work with Regional Laboratories to assist in the regional Training-of-Trainers program for TB microscopy/new diagnostic technology, Culture/DST.
  • Coordinate with Regional Reference Laboratories and Hospital laboratories in the two urban regions to ensure that laboratory personnel are trained on the revised TB laboratory standards and support hospitals and health centers to achieve these standards during supportive supervision visits.
  • Develop/strengthen innovative protocols for sputum transportation from the community to health center laboratories in a safe and secure way to ensure viability of samples, timely testing in labs and prompt notification of results.
  • Work with Regional PFSA hubs and RRL in TB lab commodities specifications, procurement and inventory management implementation.
  • Work with RRL to scale up the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for TB microscopy and Quality Assurance Guidelines for TB lab diagnosis.
  • Provide support to RRLs to implement external quality assessment (EQA) and support supervision systems for health facility TB laboratories
  • Together with Regional Laboratory staff, participate in supportive supervision and on-site mentorship/coaching of health facility lab staff.
  • Ensure that all supported laboratories implement and follow internationally-recognized TB laboratory biosafety practices to ensure the safety of staff, patients and the public. Ensure appropriate disposal of sputum specimens and other infectious material.
  • Ensure that the standard Ethiopian and appropriate TB Laboratory Information System (TB lab register) is employed at all project supported microscopy sites. In addition, set up systems to capture both commodity use and specimen workload data.
  • Develop/implement tools for lab reporting as part of lab network strengthening and build capacity of staff at regional labs and below in data management for decision making
  • Participate/Advise the annual work plan development and budget for TB laboratory activities for the two urban regions
  • Communicate with other partners working to strengthen labs and ensure that Challenge TB laboratory activities are coordinated in the two Urban regions.
  • Represent Challenge TB on regional TB, TB/HIV and MDR/XRD TB working groups as directed by the Regional TB advisor
  • Support the rollout and implementation of new TB diagnostic technologies like Gene Xpert
  • Support Regional laboratories to strengthen implementation of TB culture/DST, as per the direction from EPHI
  • Analyze the data collected in the Challenge TB -supported laboratories and work with the Regional TB Advisor to contribute to the written quarterly and annual progress reports, in line with the agreed indicators that have to be reported.
  • Perform other duties as directed by Regional TB Advisor

Who are we looking for?

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science from an accredited college or university, plus a higher qualification (e.g.,Master’s Degree) in microbiology, tropical & infectious diseases, biomedical science or related pathology discipline essential.
  • At least five years post-qualification experience, with responsibilities in each of the following areas:
    • Implementing TB laboratory components at Regional/sub-regional level
    • Providing technical leadership and support to regional and peripheral laboratories specifically on QA system
    • Interacting with RRL/RHB/implementing partners and past experience working with USAID supported TB/TB/HIV laboratory strengthening projects at Regional/Sub-regional level is an added advantage.
  • Knowledge and experience of the managerial, financial, human resource, infrastructural and systems requirements for ensuring the operation and sustainability of TB laboratory services at regional/sub-regional level
  • Understanding and working knowledge of the role of the laboratory in TB prevention, care and treatment, TB/HIV, and Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB (PMDT)
  • Experience working with the Ethiopian diagnostic laboratory system essential
  • Knowledge of and recent experience in laboratory equipment and commodity management, including new TB diagnostic technologies, with particular reference to those required for scale-up of TB diagnosis and PMDT.
  • Familiarity with and experience in implementing local and national laboratory quality assessment, quality assurance and accreditation systems, including the ISO accreditation standards and accreditation process.
  • Knowledge of and experience in laboratory capacity building, monitoring and supervision.
  • Excellent communication, and interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively with different professionals in RRLs/HFs/RHBs and partners
  • Computer literacy; competency with Microsoft Office, internet and email systems.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Amharic is required.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with colleagues
  • Willingness to travel frequently within the two urban regions required.

Behavioral competencies and skills:

  • Good interpersonal communication.
  • Ability to cope with stress and to organize and prioritize workload;
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Sound analytical skills

What does KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation offer?

  • A full time( 40 hours) fixed-term contract for a year, with the intention to extend the contract;
  • An informal work atmosphere in an international environment where initiative 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;

Application and information

You can apply for this position via the form below before 6 June 2016. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our HRM Team in The Netherlands: +31(0)70-4167228 or

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental handicap, or status as a disabled person.