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Senior Associate, Laboratory Systems

Laos

  • Organization: CHAI - Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Location: Laos
  • Grade: Associate Level - Open for both International and National Professionals - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date:

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Senior Associate, Laboratory Systems

Country
Laos
City
Vientiane
Type
Full Time
Program (Division)
Country Programs - Laos
Overview

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org

 

CHAI has partnered with the Government in Lao PDR since 2014, supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) across several health programs including Procurement and Supply Management, Malaria Elimination, HIV and TB Access, and Maternal and Child Health. CHAI Laos has also supported the MoH’s COVID-19 response since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Program Overview

 

The ability to make accurate diagnoses is crucial to the control of infectious diseases that have a high public health impact, including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19. CHAI has over 15 years’ experience in providing support across more than 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia on Diagnostic testing implementation, diagnostic network optimization and systems strengthening. CHAI has a global team of technical experts for both the supply and demand sides of diagnostics.

 

CHAI has recently secured funding as part of a consortium for Laboratory system strengthening in Southeast Asia. Through this, CHAI will support the MoH and its National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology to strengthen national laboratory systems to improve COVID-19 and other molecular testing programs. Proposed activities:

  • Conduct national assessment of laboratory capacity to identify gaps and opportunities for laboratory systems strengthening investments, in collaboration with ongoing investments and partners (WHO, SEALAB)
  • Design roadmap for laboratory systems strengthening investments in support of MoH goal to reach 100% of provinces with RT PCR capacity
  • Provide financial and technical support for lab systems strengthening investments in line with the roadmap
  • Support adoption and roll out of context-appropriate COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests

The Senior Associate, Laboratory Systems will lead the technical aspects of the Laboratory program, under the guidance and direction of the Program Manager, Laboratory Systems. The Senior Associate will provide the subject matter expertise required to design and implement the laboratory capacity assessment, develop informed mitigation and strengthening plans, and to transfer laboratory knowledge and skills (safety, quality, technical) to MoH laboratory staff as laboratory capacity is expanded nationally to all provinces. The position will be based in Vientiane, Lao PDR, with regular domestic travel expected, as conditions allow.

Responsibilities

Working together with and supported by the CHAI Lao PDR Laboratory Systems Program Manager and Program Officer and CHAI’s Global Laboratory Team, the Senior Associate will:

 

Technical Expertise

  • Conduct national assessment of laboratory capacity to identify gaps and opportunities for laboratory systems strengthening investments, in collaboration with MoH and other health partners
  • Provide technical assistance to laboratory systems strengthening and improvement of laboratory support systems as per workplan agreed with MoH (e.g. supply chain management, lab information system and effective use of DHIS2, Ag-RDT quality assurance program, specimen transportation)
  • Transfer laboratory knowledge and skills (laboratory quality management, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, equipment maintenance and calibration, quality testing at the point-of-care) to MoH laboratory staff
  • Support adoption and uptake of current and novel diagnostic tools, e.g. antigen tests, self-sampling and self-tests

Stakeholder Coordination

  • Build strong relationships with key stakeholders in the Laboratory space, including with the Ministry of Health, subnational level laboratories and testing sites and health partners and other relevant actors that play a role on diagnostics and testing services particularly on HIV, TB, COVID-19 and Malaria
  • Support communication and alignment of activities across government and partner stakeholders’ efforts to ensure coordination and successful execution of laboratory strengthening efforts
  • Work closely with the CHAI Global Laboratory Team to enlist support, capture and disseminate emerging best practices

Perform other duties that may be assigned by country leadership.

Qualifications

Required

  • Bachelor's degree in Laboratory Science, biomedical Science, laboratory management, other health sciences or any other related field, with at least 3-4 years of related work experience
  • Demonstrated experience in:
    • Lab and diagnostics, either in a programmatic or clinical setting
    • Knowledge and experience in supporting national laboratory systems and networks or other public sector projects and programs under government ministries and external donors
    • Laboratory experience in either microbiology, molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry (CD4 testing)
    • Demonstrable skills in laboratory diagnostic procedures relating to infectious diseases (HIV, TB, malaria, COVID-19)
    • Thinking strategically, handling ambiguity, and problem solving in a fast-paced, limited-structure and multicultural environment
    • Managing numerous work streams simultaneously in high-pressure situations
    • Building and maintaining collaborative, senior-level relationships and working with multiple stakeholders
  • Familiarity with global health issues, particularly HIV, TB, COVID-19 and Malaria
  • Excellent analytical (qualitative and quantitative) skills and communication (written and verbal) skills, including the ability to prepare and present compelling presentations and program planning and memo documents
  • Fluency in English

Advantages

  • Familiarity with management of laboratory systems, laboratory quality management system, external laboratory quality assessment, training of laboratory workforce, logistics management system, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity and laboratory-based survey and surveillance programs, logistics management and laboratory information system
  • Experience working in resource-limited settings
  • Previous work experience in Southeast Asia
  • Fluency in Lao or Thai language

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