Zonal Project Coordinators – Ethiopia

KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation is looking for two fulltime:

Zonal Project Coordinators

Duty Station: SNNPR, zonal health departments, 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 two Zonal Project Coordinators that will coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the non-invasive diagnostic methods for TB in children in two zones of SNNPR, Ethiopia. Zonal towns in two zones of the Southern Nations’s, Nationalities’s and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS) have been selected. Tentative zones selected based on poverty and TB burden criteria are (formerly) Gamo Goffa and Benchi Maji. The Zonal Project Coordinators will be stationed at the zonal towns, co-located with zonal health departments.

Position in the organization

The Zonal Project Coordinators will report to the Project Coordinator and they will work in close coordination with the Senior Laboratory Advisor.

Duties and responsibilities

The Zonal Project Coordinator will:

  • Coordinate baseline assessment of the status of TB diagnosis and treatment among children in the project zones;
  • Coordinate KNCV’s implementation of feasibility of alternative non-invasive samples for Xpert MTB/RIF testing in the zones;
  • Actively engage in the coordination and monitoring of the project sites on patient enrollment, sample collection, sample referral system and data collection;
  • Supervise the overall specimen transport and results feedback system, communication and strengthening of the networks of the GeneXpert sites;
  • Provide technical support to the health facilities during supportive supervision and review meetings;
  • Ensure that records are maintained at facility level and reported to KNCV central office;
  • Prepare zone specific project progress reports to KNCV country office on a pre-defined basis;
  • Facilitate the facility to subnational or regional sample transportation system.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Develop close working relationships with ZHD, Woreda health offices, health facilities and other stakeholders that have responsibility for strengthening and improving tuberculosis control and prevention program;
  • Serve as a technical resource person who will provide technical support to ZHD, woreda/district health office (WoHOs) and health facilities to coordinate TB control and prevention program activities;
  • Coordinate targeted supervision to study health facilities that required focused monitoring and supervision;
  • Assist Zonal/Woreda TB focal persons to strengthen and coordinate an effective referral system of TB patients between health facilities and regional or sub-regional laboratories;
  • Coordinate and facilitate sample transportation and improve communication of test results between health facility and Xpert site;
  • Work with central KNVC staff to effectively address operational challenges such as training preparation, supply needs, and the timely cascade of the supportive supervision and review meetings;
  • Ensure the availability and utilization of sample processing and sample transportation SOPs related to the implementation of stool pilot work;
  • Regularly monitor the data collect, monitor the implementation and prepare report
  • Manage minor financial payment when there is a need;
  • Perform other duties appropriate to the position as needed and as assigned by the supervisor.

Who are we looking for?

  • BSc in health sciences field such as Public health officer, Clinical nurse, MSc/MPH from a recognized university is a plus;
  • Previous experience as zonal project coordinator or equivalent experience in TB program;
  • At least five years of work experience in TB, preferably in childhood TB;
  • Sound knowledge of basic principles of childhood TB and the challenges associated with diagnosing childhood TB;
  • Experience in working with the zonal or regional TB program and building the capacity of health care workers in childhood TB 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. Additional fluency in the region- or zone-specific language is a plus;
  • Ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with colleagues and partners;
  • Willingness to travel frequently (up to 30% time) within the zones;
  • Good interpersonal skills with experience in networking with partners at all levels (region, zones, districts, health facilities, and local community-based organizations);
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently;
  • 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.