Senior Technical Advisor to National TB Reference Laboratory Gaborone Botswana

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KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is looking for a

Senior Technical Advisor to National TB Reference Laboratory Botswana (NTRL) (fulltime)

Duty station: National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL), Gaborone, Botswana


KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis (TB), the most deadly 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, epidemiologists, and laboratory scientists. We aim to stop the worldwide epidemic of TB and to prevent the further spread of drug-resistant TB. Over the past century we have built a wealth of knowledge and expertise, initially by successfully controlling TB in the Netherlands. Since the 1970s, we have also shared our knowledge and expertise with the rest of the world. We operate from a central office in The Hague, the Netherlands, regional offices in Central Asia and East Africa and country offices worldwide. KNCV raises funds from private, institutional, corporate and government donors.

Challenge TB

KNCV is the lead partner in Challenge TB (CTB), the USAID-funded 5-year global program to decrease TB mortality and morbidity in high burden countries. We lead an international consortium of eight partner organizations: American Thoracic Society (ATS), FHI 360, Interactive Research & Development (IRD), Japanese Anti Tuberculosis Foundation (JATA), Management Sciences for Health (MSH), PATH, The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), and the World Health Organization (WHO). The overarching strategic objectives of Challenge TB are to improve access to quality patient centered care for TB, TB/HIV, and MDR-TB services; to prevent transmission and disease progression; and to strengthen TB platforms. KNCV is the lead partner and sole implementer of Challenge TB project in Botswana.

Purpose of the position

The senior technical advisor to the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL) supports the development of effective laboratory services for the diagnosis and management of TB, and the implementation and maintenance of routine surveillance and periodical surveys of drug resistant (DR)-TB. The senior technical advisor will also advise on the implementation of the rapid diagnostic techniques for diagnosis of TB. The position is based in the NTRL, and coordinates and works closely together with the Botswana National TB program (BNTP), CDC professional staff and other stakeholders to successfully implement the CTB country project. The senior technical advisor reports to the CTB country director in Botswana.


As Senior Technical Advisor to National TB Reference Laboratory you will:

  • Advise and support Head of NTRL on all matters relevant to TB microbiology:
  • Organization of the NTRL according to work flow and biosafety considerations per international standards
  • Sputum-smear microscopy
  • Culture on solid and liquid media and identification of mycobacteria
  • Drug susceptibility testing for first-and second-line TB drugs
  • Rapid diagnostic techniques for diagnosis of TB
  • Development and implementation of a national External Quality Assurance program for AFB examination and C/DST.
  • Coordinate with other USG/PEPFAR funded laboratory activities on TB;
  • Provide technical advice to the BNTP and NTRL on all matters pertaining to TB diagnosis and management, and surveillance of DR-TB;
  • Provide technical advice and expertise on the implementation of new TB laboratory diagnostic tools;
  • Advise and assist BNTP and NTRL staff in planning and implementation of TB laboratory program activities;
  • Continuously support in the transfer of skills and knowledge on TB bacteriology to laboratory technologists and any other laboratory staff as relevant;
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the National Quality Officer in Ministry of Health on the ongoing implementation of the TB National Laboratory Plan;
  • Provide advice and support to the development of the satellite TB culture (and DST) facility in Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital laboratory in Francistown;
  • Assist with transition plan from ISO 15189:2007 to ISO 15189:2012;
  • Ensure NTRL is re-accredited following refurbishment according to the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and the SNRL Uganda;
  • Assist in activities and support the SNRL Uganda and other EQA partners such as the SNRL Antwerp;
  • Collaborate with KNCV central office laboratory scientists and other KNCV professionals.

Specific Activities

  • Advise and assist the laboratory manager and laboratory staff on introduction and adherence to international biosafety standards;
  • Advise and assist in building capacity of NTRL staff in the use of an appropriate TB laboratory information system – streamlining processes, assuring integrity and accessibility of information and protecting patient privacy, and preventing corruption or loss of data;
  • Advise and support the development of a quarterly NTRL performance report, presenting data on essential performance indicators of NTRL functions;
  • Assist with the sputum-smear microscopy network activities and GeneXpert and GxAlert network activities;
  • Advise and assist in the development of an effective patient-based laboratory notification system of X/MDR-TB, allowing the BNTP to immediately track any diagnosed X/MDR-TB case for proper case management;
  • Advise and assist the BNTP and NTRL in evaluation of the diagnostic tools, e.g. (MGIT960 for TB culture and drug susceptibility testing, PCR testing for rapid diagnosis of MDR-TB, Line Probe Assay, GeneXpert, and GxAlert);
  • Advise and support development and adherence to SOPs for DST of first-line anti-TB drugs and all other laboratory tests;
  • Advise and assist the NTRL and the BNTP on operations research for improving TB bacteriological diagnosis;
  • Advise and support the strengthening of the quality control system at NTRL and Nyangabgwe referral hospital laboratory;
  • In Quality Assurance areas (assist or monitor if applicable with transitioning from ISO 15189:2007 – ISO 15189:2012, support on transition from SANAS to SADCAS, support on creation of work flow for the quality office, strengthen management of the lab in Quality Management System related issues, revision of EQA unit procedures and policies).

Who are we looking for?

  • Master degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences or equivalent (PhD is an advantage);
  • Six years Management experience in a medical diagnostic laboratory, specifically in TB diagnostic and culture laboratory;
  • Experience using solid (LJ) and liquid MGIT960 media for TB culture and DST;
  • Experience and understanding of the public health and clinical functions of a NTRL;
  • Knowledge in Laboratory Quality Control Assurance, and strong experience of instituting good laboratory practice;
  • Ability to effectively monitor and manage all aspects of QC within the laboratory;
  • Experience with automated equipment in particular: MGIT960; LPA (Hain Life science technology or other);
  • Ample understanding of MOTT speciation is an advantage;
  • Experience with laboratory information systems, and operations research experience is an advantage;
  • Good interpersonal communication and management skills;
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in English;
  • Demonstrated intermediate computer skills in Microsoft Office applications.

What does KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation offer?

  • A 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;
  • Full-time employment consists of 40 hours per week.

Application and information

You can apply for this position via the form below before 1st September 2016. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our HRM Team in The Netherlands: +31(0)70-4167222 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.