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The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is a center in the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health. I-TECH has projects in more than 20 countries, and its worldwide staff work with local ministries of health, universities, non-governmental organizations, medical facilities, and other partners to support efficient, well-ordered health care systems that provide high quality care to all citizens.
I-TECH has provided technical support to the Government of Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH), since 2008, through seconded senior Technical Assistants, and Program Officers. I-TECH Malawi’s HIV Surveillance for Epidemic Control project focuses on provision of comprehensive and cost-effective support for capacity building and implementation of national surveillance systems and the generation of high-quality epidemiological data collected in accordance with international standards. I-TECH is supporting the Ministry of Health through the National HIV Reference Laboratory in developing local capacity for testing HIV Drug Resistance (HIVDR) samples and implementing other HIV surveillance activities. The capacity to test HIVDR samples in country will help reduce delays in processing surveillance samples and results will be used to inform policy decisions.
I-TECH Malawi has an outstanding opportunity for a Laboratory Advisor (Lab Advisor) at the National HIV Reference Laboratory (NHRL), Ministry of Health (MOH) in Lilongwe, Malawi. The Lab Advisor will be responsible for the oversight and implementation of the HIVDR capacity strengthening and HIV related testing activities, technical assistance provision, and other lab related project activities to ensure that work plans are developed for each activity and deadlines are met. In collaboration with the NHRL Lab Manager and the Surveillance Technical Director, the Lab Advisor will provide technical leadership in laboratory system strengthening to ensure the HIVDR lab meet international standards so that the HIVDR genotyping results are in high quality and accepted internationally.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE: •Provide oversight for implementation of HIVDR genotyping activities including support to the MOH •Supervise and support development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for laboratory testing procedures to meet both national and internationally acceptable standards •Develop and implement Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures for sample collection, processing, storage, and testing for HIVDR studies using WHO recommended procedures •Train, mentor, and supervise a team of laboratory staff members, as well as assess their productivity and annual competencies •Promote and foster Biosafety practices and ensure a safe working environment •Monitor daily laboratory activities in compliance with SOPs and improve or streamline lab work processing system to generate testing data in a timely fashion •Review and sign off laboratory testing report and deposit the testing results in the study database accurately, •Prepare regular progress reports to CDC and other stakeholders •Provide the interpretation of HIVDR testing results or report to clients in a timely fashion •Assist in testing and data analysis of routine samples from clinics to support patient management •Represent NHRL in discussions with national stakeholders and assess ways in which national capacity to process samples can be developed and strengthened •Liaise with laboratory technical staff in Malawi and external partners •Facilitate external quality assurance (EQA) Participation and implementation of quality management systems (QMS) to propel the Laboratory for accreditation to meet international standards •Be able to provide support to other HIV related studies
REQUIREMENTS: Advanced degree in Molecular Biology and/or related laboratory area plus minimum of 5 years of experience providing laboratory technical expertise in genetics. •Knowledge and experience of using dried blood spots (DBS) and plasma for HIVDR testing •Knowledge and experience of HIVDR sequence editing •Knowledge and experience of using WHO HIVDR data QA/QC procedures for HIVDR data analysis •Knowledge and experience of WHO recommendations about using DBS for HIVDR testing •Knowledge and experience of using Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database (HIVdb) Program to generate HIVDR batch or individual report and results interpretation •Experience in supervising and mentoring laboratory staff •Ability to communicate effectively with partners, staff, and colleagues with a high level of tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality •Ability to prioritize, act independently, work under deadlines, and implement several tasks at once •Must be registered with the Malawi Medical Council
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
DESIRED EXPERIENCE PhD in laboratory science or genetics with more than 5 years of experience managing a clinical or research laboratory. •Training in QMS and understanding of Recognition and accreditation issues •Extensive knowledge and experience in design, implementation and management of laboratory services •Knowledge/experience of quantification and procurement procedures and equipment/supply/stock tracking and inventory •Experience with lab-related data management systems •High level of proficiency in relevant computer applications, particularly MS Access •Excellent interpersonal, management, and communication skills
WORKING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS This full time position is based at the I-TECH office in Lilongwe, Malawi. I-TECH operates within a grant-funded environment. Due to this, the total amount of this position’s FTE may fluctuate based on program funding and needs.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY The Department of Global Health recognizes that disparities in health around the globe stem from inequity. The Department encourages and supports the multiple identities of staff, faculty and students including, but not limited to, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, culture, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical disability and age. The Department strives to become a local, national, and international leader in developing and maintaining increased representation and recognition of each of these dimensions of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students.
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