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Regional TB Laboratory Advisor Addis Ababa

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KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is looking for a

Regional TB Laboratory Advisor,

Duty Station: Addis Ababa

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis (TB), the first 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. We operate from a central office in The Hague in the Netherlands, a regional office in Central Asia and country offices worldwide.

Challenge TB

KNCV is the lead partner in Challenge TB (CTB), the new USAID-funded 5-year global program to decrease TB mortality and morbidity in high burdened countries. The overarching strategic objectives of Challenge TB are to improve access to quality patient centered care for TB, B/HIV, and MDR-TB services; to prevent transmission and disease progression; and to strengthen TB platforms. The KNCV office in Addis Ababa is responsible for the overall implementation of CTB project (to be significantly expanded in 2016). As lead partner, KNCV implements the project together with MSH and WHO and operates in close communication with the National TB program (NTP), the USAID Mission and other stakeholders.

The project focusses specifically on four major areas: 1) technical support (TA) to the national level of the National TB Program (NTP); 2) TA to two Regions; 3) TA to three urban areas, and 4) tailored support to key populations. In 2016 the CTB Project will be expanded to four other regions, with significant collaboration of MSH. It is expected that at the main office in Addis Ababa, a mix of KNCV and MSH senior technical staff will provide both national TA and policy support and regional/zonal TA.

Purpose of the Position:

The Regional TB Laboratory Advisor’s responsibilities includes overall strategic planning, coordination, and technical direction of laboratory activities to ensure quality assured laboratory services are provided to the beneficiaries in urban regions. As the laboratory is an essential component in the continuum of TB diagnosis, care and treatment, s/he works closely with the Regional TB Advisor and M&E Advisor to ensure progress is being achieved towards ensuring quality laboratory services.

The TB Laboratory Advisor assists regional reference laboratories (RRLs) to strengthen the External Quality Assessment (EQA) and Quality Assurance (Q/A) systems in their catchment areas in collaboration with other partners. S/he contributes to improve lab services at health facilities in 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. S/he contributes to introduction and implementation of new TB diagnostic technologies.

Position in the organization

The laboratory advisor reports to regional technical coordinator-urban and will work closely urban team.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. 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.
  2. Work with Regional Laboratories to assist in the regional Training-of-Trainers program for TB microscopy/new diagnostic technology, Culture/DST.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Work with Regional PFSA hubs and RRL in TB lab commodities specifications, procurement and inventory management implementation.
  6. Work with RRL to scale up the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for TB microscopy and Quality Assurance Guidelines for TB lab diagnosis.
  7. Provide support to RRLs to implement external quality assessment (EQA) and support supervision systems for health facility TB laboratories
  8. Participate in supportive supervision and on-site mentorship/coaching of health facility lab staff.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Participate/Advise the annual work plan development and budget for TB laboratory activities for the two urban regions
  13. Communicate with other partners working to strengthen labs and ensure that Challenge TB laboratory activities are coordinated in the two Urban regions.
  14. Represent Challenge TB on regional TB, TB/HIV and MDR/XRD TB working groups as directed by the Regional TB advisor
  15. Support the rollout and implementation of new TB diagnostic technologies like Gene Xpert
  16. Support Regional laboratories to strengthen implementation of TB culture/DST, as per the direction from EPHI
  17. 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.
  18. Perform other duties as directed by Regional TB Advisor

Who are we looking for?

Education

Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science, plus a higher qualification in a relevant field of study.

Knowledge/Experiences

  • At least five years’ post-qualification experience, with the responsibilities of 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Computer literacy; competency with Microsoft Office, internet and email systems.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Willingness to travel frequently to urban regions.

Behavioral competencies and skills:

  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • 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 30 October 2016. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our HRM Team in The Netherlands: +31(0)70-4167228 or recruitethiopia@kncvtbc.org.

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.