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Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance- Senior Diagnostic Specialist, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
International Health and Development
Senior Diagnostics Specialist
Democratic Republic of Congo- Kinshasa possible Goma
Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS), is a five-year United States Agency for International Development-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.
ICF is currently seeking a Senior Diagnostics Specialist (DS) for the IDDS project in DRC. The SDS will support the diagnostics systems capacity building work for this USAID project that serves the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), Tuberculosis (TB) programs and other related initiatives. IDDS supports selected governments and their relevant ministries in the strengthening of their human and animal health diagnostic systems for infectious diseases, TB and AMR.
The work will focus primarily on public health systems but may also include public-private; private health and other non-governmental diagnostic facilities (laboratories and point-of-care facilities). The position is based in Kinshasa or Goma and will involve frequent up to 60% in-country travel.
Responsibilities will include:
- Implementation of technical assistance, diagnostic network and facilities strengthening and quality improvement interventions in line with joint external evaluation (JEE) reports, country national action plans, other assessment reports and country workplan activities aligned with JEE and local stakeholder improvement goals.
- Implementing in-country diagnostic network enhancement activities which may include capacity building activities for core diagnostic components such as testing standards and algorithms, specimen referral mechanisms, quality management systems, supply chain, management information systems, diagnostic standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tools, qualified workforce, expansion of point-of-care diagnostic service points, and biosafety and biosecurity.
- Closely working with the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) in Kinshasa and its subsidiary in Goma national stakeholders to support the development or updating national infectious diseases diagnostic network strategic plans, SOPs and policies.
- Monitoring and reporting progress with diagnostic network enhancement activities as per the approved country workplan.
- Providing technical support based upon expertise with diagnostics system strengthening, methods and strategies, current best practices, and established diagnostic and operational standards while also being locally relevant and sustainable.
- Building capacity in local diagnostic stakeholders and leaders to identify and oversee enhancements in diagnostic networks.
- Conducting assessments of diagnostic facilities (human and animal health) and leading the follow-up of corrective and preventive actions and quality improvement initiatives.
- Providing technical assistance and training to diagnostic facilities and the overall diagnostic network as part of overall capacity building and continuous improvement programs.
- Encouraging and assisting laboratories with preparing for accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies based on country demand.
- Closely coordinating and working with a diverse group of national organizations including the Government, INRB, and other diagnostic network leaders, development partners, other regional and global IDDS staff and USAID.
- Working with the IDDS diagnostics global and regional leadership, in-country partners, and USAID to implement agreed strategies to enhance diagnostics networks (both human and animal health and point-of-care facilities in line with one health approach) in DRC as well as the broader surveillance systems.
Required skills and experience:
- A minimum of MSc in clinical diagnostics or an equivalent with a specialty in microbiology. BSc with considerable years of experience will be considered..
- At least five years of experience in diagnostic strengthening and capacity building in the country.
- Demonstrated ability to bring a systems-level understanding to diagnostic network strengthening efforts
- In-depth knowledge and experience in the diagnosis including specific hands-on diagnostics experience of infectious diseases (including TB) and AMR.
- Competent in current diagnostic methods for infectious diseases including point-of-care tests.
- Knowledge and experience with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 17025.
- Sound knowledge and experience in clinical diagnostics (on-the-bench experience), diagnostic networks and quality management systems.
- Awareness of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the GHSA and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious threats and AMR
- General understanding of the country environment and how it affects diagnostics network functioning.
- Strong problem-solving skills.
- Strong French written, oral, and presentation skills
- Congolese nationality
- Experience working with the GHSA
- Experience working in DRC
Selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.
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