Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) is a five-year USAID-funded project with the following overall objectives: (1) Improve the detection of diseases of public health importance and identification of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in priority infectious diseases through an accessible, accurate, adaptable, timely, and integrated diagnostic network system; (2)Improve the quality of real-time surveillance systems for pathogens of greatest public health concern, including AMR and zoonotic diseases, and; (3) Generate evidence-based guidance and innovative solutions to strengthen in-country diagnostic networks and surveillance systems.
In Zimbabwe, the IDDS project will focus on activities to accelerate the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) and build upon previous USAID and US Governments investments and activities for improved TB including multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. IDDS activities will enhance the impact of TB support provided by the Global Fund and other donor support to the Government of Zimbabwe’s TB strategic plan objectives to achieve the UN high level meeting targets.
ICF is seeking a Senior TB Diagnostics Specialist to support the diagnostics systems capacity building work for the IDDS project. The work will focus primarily on public health systems but may also include private health and other non-governmental diagnostic facilities (laboratories and point-of-care facilities). The position will be based in Harare, Zimbabwe and will involve frequent in-country travel. Technical responsibilities include, strengthening and maintaining the TB diagnostic network, providing mentorship to key national stakeholders, and supporting key laboratories to obtain or maintain accreditation. This position reports to the IDDS Team Lead based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
- Implement TB-focused technical assistance, diagnostic network and facilities strengthening, and quality improvement interventions in line with national priorities.
- Support developing or updating national diagnostic network strategic plans, SOPs and policies.
- Provide technical guidance and work closely with the NTP and the HIV program to implement a national framework on sample transportation system integrated with HIV and using standardized indicators within a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework embedded in national guidelines.
- Review adherence to diagnostic algorithms and use of those algorithms to make clinical decisions.
- Conduct assessments of diagnostic facilities and the follow-up of corrective and preventive actions and initiatives.
- Provide technical oversight for data management and reporting of MDR TB, monitor and report progress with diagnostic network enhancement activities as per the approved country workplan.
- Work collaboratively and coordinate with other technical staff as well as project partners on development and implementation of the project workplans.
- Build capacity in local TB diagnostic stakeholders and leaders to identify and oversee enhancements in diagnostic networks.
- Provide technical assistance and training to TB diagnostic facilities and the overall diagnostic network as part of overall capacity building and continuous improvement programs.
- Support the NTP and the Manicaland provincial TB coordinator to draft a Smear Microscopy hub pilot strategy.
- Support strategies to ensure functional TB diagnostic equipment including systems to maintain laboratory equipment, securing maintenance contracts, and establishing a cadre of trained biomedical engineers.
- Build capacity of TB laboratories to perform more TB diagnostic tests (culture, Xpert, drug sensitivity tests, and line probe assay including resistance to second line drugs).
- Develop and implement a package of comprehensive and linked interventions enabling functional GX sites at the national and sub national levels.
- Work closely with the IDDS team to define and adjust annual work plans as well as implementing technical activities.
- Coordinate and work with a diverse group of national organizations including the Government and other diagnostic network leaders, development partners, other regional and global IDDS staff and USAID.
- Follow established processes to guarantee the technical and programmatic quality of IDDS work in Zimbabwe
- A minimum of MSc in clinical diagnostics, laboratory science, or an equivalent. BSc with considerable years of experience will be considered.
- At least five years of experience in TB-focused diagnostic strengthening and capacity building in the country.
- Technical competency in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (TB and DRTB) including specific hands-on diagnostics experience.
- Competent in current diagnostic methods for tuberculosis including point-of-care tests.
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Strong interpersonal skills in facilitation and stakeholder engagement/coordination
- Willingness and ability to travel up to 25%.
- Authorization to work in Zimbabwe
- Familiarity with Global Laboratory Initiative standards
- Familiarity with USG programs
- Experience working in Zimbabwe
Selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.
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