Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (Caritas Nigeria), is a Not-for-Profit Humanitarian and Development Agency established by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), to coordinate at the national level, the social development interventions of the Catholic Church in Nigeria. Caritas Nigeria works to fight hunger, disease and ignorance as well as respond to humanitarian crises and emergencies by mobilizing resources from within and outside the Church to meet the basic needs of affected persons, regardless of religion, nationality or ethnicity.
Location / Community: Umuahia, Abia
Job Category: Laboratory Services
Job Type: Full Time
Project: 4GATES PROGRAM
The Global Action Towards Epidemic control in Sub-national units in Nigeria (4GATES) program is a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment program being implemented in Abia, Delta, Enugu and Imo States.
It is a 5-year program (October, 2017 to September, 2022) implemented by Caritas Nigeria and its consortium partners; Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Pro-Health International as the sole Implementing Partner for PEPFAR in these states.
Summary of Role
Under the supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor, Orphans & Vulnerable
Under the supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor, Laboratory Services, the successful candidate will be a member of the State Management Team and will primarily lead and supervise all laboratory services and activities across implementing entities.
The successful candidate will articulate the priorities of the team to the SMT and cascade focus down through the Specialists, Officers, Associates and other staff to ensure efficient use of available resources towards achieving defined goals.
S/he will ensure adherence to structured principles in the course of implementation of the Unit’s field activities and provide required program statistics within expected timelines to inform project planning, delivery and decision making.
The Senior Technical Specialist will build and sustain strategic relationships with key stakeholders and maintain an information flow to keep all stakeholders updated with project performance.
Description of Roles & Responsibilities
The Senior Technical Specialist, Laboratory Services shall:
Report to the Senior Technical Advisor Laboratory Services and provide leadership and technical support in the design, planning and implementation of laboratory services and laboratory related activities in the state.
Maintaining oversight on the functionality and optimization of all clinical laboratory services as well as laboratory-related activities across healthcare facilities and communities; and conduct periodic laboratory system assessment and review of activities in the state.
Oversee the implementation of Laboratory Continuous Quality Improvement and the deployment and institution of appropriate corrective and preventive action respectively.
Collaborate with relevant stakeholders, ensure laboratory service delivery and laboratory-related activities are in line with national and international standards and comply with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
Lead all site and central trainings in the state as applicable
Coordinate the production, distribution and monitoring of Dry Tube Specimen (DTS) for HIV Quality Improvement Program
Ensure inventory of all necessary laboratory reagents and supplies needed for DTS production and distribution are maintained.
Work with State Laboratory team to implement quality assurance program across assays and processes.
Conduct assessment of laboratories, develop work action plan and with time lines to achieve timely implementation of corrective actions.
Coordinate with the Laboratory Team and laboratories to Implement Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLPTA). Ensure appropriate and timely implementation of improvement projects.
Provide technical assistance to the Laboratory Team in the state to strengthen laboratory services including Viral Load Monitoring (VLM).
Support the establishment and strengthening of tracking system (line listing) for routine VL testing for clients based on the national guideline and donor recommendations.
Work closely with the Clinical Team in the state to improve demand on VL testing among PLHIV on treatment in supported states.
Support Service Delivery Facilities to increase access to viral load testing and result utilization by improving clinic-laboratory interface and strengthening viremia clinics.
Support viral load testing sites and referring health facilities to reduce backlog samples and data to improve viral load testing Turnaround Time (TAT).
Collaborate with third party logistics to ensure prompt shipment of viral load samples to reference laboratory and return of result to various laboratories.
Ensure the availability, distribution and proper utilization of viral load demand creation tools, specimen referral SOPs, request forms, registers and different provider support tools.
Implement Quality assurance processes across the facility laboratories
Reporting & Supervision:
The Senior Technical Specialist, Laboratory Services, reports to the State Team Lead and the Senior Technical Advisor, Laboratory Services and regularly interacts with facility staff, Caritas Nigeria technical, program staff, and other members of the State Team.
S/he will be responsible for supervising the Technical Specialist, Technical Officers in the State Office.
The Responsibilities (Above) are not all-inclusive. The employee will also perform other related tasks as required and will be responsible for reporting and communicating progress and achievement of the specific assigned tasks.
Desired Qualification, Skills and Experience
Qualified applicants must have:
Advanced Degree in Medical Laboratory Science or Public Health with a valid certificate to practice as Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Seven (7) years' mandatory knowledge and experience in the design, implementation and management of laboratory services in HIV/AIDS program.
Experience and knowledge of ART Surge Response is a major requirement.
Experience in a laboratory setting in the areas of molecular diagnosis (viral load) and familiarity with standards and federal/state regulations affecting the laboratory practices.
Experience of dealing with difficult and sensitive situations in a professional manner.
Ability to work under pressure, efficiently handle multiple tasks, quickly find creative solutions to problems and challenges that arise, and manage stress and time in a fast-paced work and fluid operating environment.
Ability to foster and maintain a spirit of unity, teamwork, cooperation, and learning.
Willingness and ability to travel.
Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Sensitivity in working with multiple cultures and beliefs, and to gender equity.
Proficient with Microsoft Office software: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
Ability to work both independently and as a part of a team.
Application Closing Date
6pm; 16th September, 2021.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit a Letter of Application with a recently updated CV as one single PDF file-format (as an attachement), and send to: [email protected] using the Job Title and Location as subject of the email. E.g. Senior Technical Specialist, Laboratory Services; Umuahia, Abia State.