Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is looking for a fulltime

Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor

Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Information and application via www.kncvtbc.org 

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.

Background

The Eliminate Tuberculosis from Ethiopia (ETBE) is a five-year USAID-funded project awarded to Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and its core partner KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. The goal of the project is to reduce TB incidence and mortality to achieve End TB strategy milestones and targets by increasing the quality, access, utilization, and sustainability of TB services in Ethiopia. The project will support the Government of Ethiopia to target case detection based on prevalence; introduce highly sensitive and specific diagnostic and screening tools; and boost prevention and treatment for latent TB infection. Accordingly, through ETBE the implementing partners will find and treat 484,540 new TB patients and 14,357 MDR-TB patients and achieve treatment success rates (TSRs) of at least 95% for drug-sensitive (DS)-TB and 85% for drug-resistant (DR)-TB and an LTBI treatment target of 450,000.

The GeneXpert utilization rate in Ethiopia in 2019 stood at 55%, a decline from a high of 82%, due in part to weak implementation of the national algorithm, shortage of cartridges and repeated machine failures. ETBE will support optimization of the use of existing machines; introduce new molecular tests such as Xpert Edge and Truenat; institutionalize LMIS, including GxAlert across the laboratory network; develop a laboratory maintenance system; and integrate the laboratory commodity management system into the existing NTLP drug procurement management system. ETBE will also support the NTP and regional health bureaus to orient health facilities’ clinicians and laboratory professionals in using GeneXpert as the primary TB diagnostic test. 

Purpose of the position

The Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor is responsible for supporting the national GeneXpert implementation and supporting the project’s intensive-support sites in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR in ensuring maximum GeneXpert utilization and that results from GeneXpert tests are properly relayed and utilized nationally by using GxAlert. 

Organizational position  

The Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor reports both functionally and hierarchically to the Technical Director / Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP). The Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor will work closely with relevant technical teams at the central and the regional level.

Duties and Responsibilities 

The Senior Laboratory (GeneXpert) Advisor will:

  • Support the coordination of national and regional GeneXpert (and newer molecular tests) implementation:
  • Technical assistance to annual and strategic plan development, preplacement assessment of health facilities, installation of GeneXpert machines,
  • Assist the national level Advanced and TOT trainings on GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay,
  • Technically oversee strengthening of case-based management of curative maintenance and replacement of modules
  • Technically oversee the strengthening of systems for the preventive maintenance of GeneXpert machines.
  • Oversee the monitoring of annual calibration schedule and facilitate the health facility level GeneXpert machines calibration
  • Support GeneXpert panel test (PT) preparation, distribution, feedback collection, result analysis.
  • Provide technical support through supportive supervision and review meeting
  • Carry out national report collection, analysis and availing information for use.
  • Support new GeneXpert sites training for laboratory professionals and orient clinicians on GeneXpert.
  • Mentor and graduate GeneXpert laboratory experts at EPHI and Regional reference laboratories who can take over the duties and responsibilities of the senior laboratory advisor
  • Provide technical assistance in adoption of newer TB molecular tests (e.g. True-Nat) by EPHI
  • Review and update sample referral network for GeneXpert and link with other laboratory specimen referral networks or take part in its development
  • Develop real time report acquisition tool and dashboard
  • Support the national and regional implementation of GxAlert connectivity solution to strengthen the Laboratory Information Management System (LMIS):
  • Facilitate the installation of GxConnect software and internet modems to newly installed machines and those without.
  • Support national and regional level GxAlert Connectivity training for regional staffs and facility level staffs
  • Provide technical support to GxAlert connectivity maintenance service.
  • Support EPHI in the monitoring of the GxAlert dashboard, export the data, analyze and avail for information use.
  • Monitor the weekly active and inactive sites identification and contact the inactive sites for connection or technical support.
  • Provide Technical support in supportive supervision, review meeting, and meaningfully participate in laboratory TWGs
  • Strengthen Regional Health Bureaus’ capacity in equipment maintenance by training biomedical engineers and providing maintenance equipment as needed
  • Mentor and graduate GeneXpert laboratory experts at EPHI and Regional reference laboratories who can take over the duties and responsibilities of the senior laboratory advisor
  • Support the integrated laboratory specimen transport and results feedback system strengthening.
  • Provide training and onsite mentorship to health facilities for Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (LMTA)/Ethiopia National Accreditation Officer (ENAO) accreditation for GeneXpert sites
  • Identify areas for crosscutting collaboration with other implementing partners in regard to TB Molecular tests issues
  • Identify knowledge gaps at National, Regional , Zonal and district level and initiates and guides further capacity building
  • Ensure that up to date knowledge on TB control areas and new technologies especially in area of gene Xpert and other molecular diagnostics is accessed and shared
  • Actively share knowledge with the national and regional reference laboratories and TB control program

Who are we looking for?

Education

  • BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences and Masters degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences or equivalent

Knowledge/Experience

  • Minimum 7 years, post qualification experience including experience in TB laboratory System support at national or regional level;
  • Experience in GeneXpert MTB/RIF rollout and coordination, GxAlert connectivity solution for GeneXpert information management, Specimen Referral system and network development;
  • Sound knowledge of basic principles, techniques and safety procedures and Quality management in the laboratory system;
  • Knowledge of GeneXpert equipment and its maintenance is desirable;.
  • Must have worked in a medical diagnostic laboratory for a period of at least five years, specifically in Gene Xpert networking, maintenance and sample transportation;
  • Knowledge in Laboratory Quality Control Assurance, and strong experience of instituting good lab practice;
  • Experience with laboratory information systems;
  • Supervisory, training, management and monitoring skills of other lab staff;
  • Research and publication experience is an asset.

Behavioral competencies and skills

  • Good interpersonal skills with experience in networking with partners at all levels (government, NGOs and local community based organizations);
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Country national preferable, conversant in the local language;
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently;
  • Ability to cope with a demanding work environment and to organize and prioritize workload;
  • Ability to work in a national and international team. 

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 July 31st, 2020 via www.kncvtbc.org/vacancies.

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.

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