October 31, 2022
Location: Nigeria/Cameroon/Senegal Contract: 18 months fixed term contract (renewable subject to funding)
Salary: Local Terms and Conditions apply
Purpose of role as Regional Technical Lead NTD
Currently our drive to eliminate onchocerciasis is hampered by low capacity to conduct entomological surveys as well as limitations by laboratories in endemic countries to provide diagnostic support on collected samples. We are therefore actively seek to employ a technical adviser to support national NTD programmes in strengthening NTD laboratory capacity, focusing specifically on onchocerciasis and to a lesser degree lymphatic filariasis and other vector borne NTDs. The post-holder will provide technical advice and assistance that further develops regional and global strategies, networks and collaborations to strengthen NTD diagnostic capacity (survey methods, training, data collection and analysis) of laboratories in endemic countries.
About the role Regional Technical Lead NTD
Main responsibilities will include but not limited to:
- Lead the development of strategies, training packages, and knowledge transfer initiatives to increase and strengthen onchocerciasis diagnostic capacity in endemic countries and programmes.
- Develop standardized training and refresher training packages for use of existing Ov16 and black fly PCR protocols, drawing on existing best practice and laboratory expertise in country
- Setting up quality assurance protocols to cover common controls and assay parameters, blind re-testing of randomly selected samples on both ELISA and O-150 PCR within and between laboratories, assay calibration in each lab through running a standardized calibration panel
- Champion accreditations across laboratories to meet national standards, for example SLIMTA, SLIPTA and GLP.
- Ensure collaborating laboratories complete the laboratory assessment tool and maintain a register of its usage
- Coordinate and align technical advice and activities in countries where Sightsavers is not the only source of funding for onchocerciasis laboratory strengthening activities
- Support the dissemination and application of best practice for onchocerciasis diagnostic capacity strengthening, in line with global standards and emerging m-Health systems, working closely with Sightsavers Director for Digital Health and Innovation
- Support for the development of new funding proposals for onchocerciasis diagnostic implementation or research, ensuring proposals are technically sound, deliverable, and align with WHO guidance and Sightsavers strategic vision and priorities
Knowledge, skills and experience for Regional Technical Lead NTD
- Proven work experience in a similar role at Regional level within international development
- Laboratory experience working on onchocerciasis diagnosis, particularly Ov16 serological methods and O-150 molecular methods
- Tertiary degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline such as biology, molecular biology, biotechnology, or similar
- Excellent written and spoken English
- First class communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent time management and organisation
- Experience designing and delivering training to laboratory personnel
- Availability to travel for field visits, attend meetings, workshops and conferences
- Strong stakeholder management and engagement
- Ability to work independently escalating risks and issues to the wider team and senior members
- Understanding of research governance and ethical principles particularly in relation to research with vulnerable people
- Knowledge of NTDs and health systems
- Experience with GLP, SLIMTA or SLIPTA
The Regional Technical Lead is a highly varied and involved role and the above is not an exhaustive list of duties or required professional skills.
Interviews are likely to take place virtually week commencing 14 November 2022 onwards. This will be a one-stage interview process.
As an equal opportunity Employer we actively encourage applications from all sections of the community. Sightsavers is a Disability Confident Leader therefore qualified people living with a disability are particularly encouraged to apply
Sightsavers is an employer that does not tolerate any form of harassment and has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. All potential candidates will be subjected to rigorous background checks and controls.
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