Senior National TB Reference Laboratory Advisor


Location : Juba, SOUTH SUDAN
Application Deadline :03-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :HIV, Health and Development
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Jul-2022
Duration of Initial Contract :3 Months
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 Months

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is a key partner to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and is the United Nations (UN) agency assuming the role of Principal Recipient of GFATM grants in selected countries.  In its role as Principal Recipient, UNDP is responsible for the financial and programmatic management of the GFATM grant as well as for the procurement of health and non-health products.  In all areas of implementation, UNDP provides capacity development services to the implementing partners; government counterparts and sub-recipients (SRs).

The UNDP South Sudan Programme signed the COVID-19 Response Mechanism award with the Global Fund on behalf of the Country Coordinating Mechanism-CCM of the Government of South Sudan-GoSS. The project runs until 31 December 2023 with key areas of support including country coordination and planning for COVID-19 response, risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, COVID-19 diagnostics and lab systems strengthening, health products management and waste management, surveillance and surveillance

systems strengthening, and last mile delivery. COVID-19 response in the country is led nationally by the National Taskforce and advised by the National Steering Committee which is comprised of several Technical Working Groups along WHO’s pillars for COVID-19 response. The country has also revised its national strategic preparedness and response plan the implementation of which is being supported through this award and other partners. UNDP is the principal recipient of the award and is partnering with sub-recipients to implement the various pillars of the national response.

One of the focus areas of this award are laboratory systems strengthening that focus on the integration of diagnostic services and the strengthening of the national public health laboratory (NPHL). The capacity of the NPHL for COVID-19 and TB advanced diagnosis and quality assurance is severely compromised as a result of lack of adequate hands-on technical support. UNDP is, thereofe, seeking a one-year expertise technical assistance that will be provided to the NPHL in order that the NPHL is in full capacity to run the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL) and COVID-19 laboratory.

Objectives of the ToR

  The UNDP South Sudan through the Global Fund COVID-19 response mechanism award intends to contract a Senior laboratory expert with solid TB reference laboratory work background to ensure that capacity is built at the NTRL and that COVID-19 laboratory is fully functional to provide both advanced diagnostic testing and execute quality assurance.


Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose of the Assignment

The main objective of this technical assistance is to provide hands-on training, mentoring and support to the day-to-day operation of the NTRL and oversee the operation of COVID-19 laboratory.  

Scope of work

The senior laboratory specialist will focus on strengthening the TB reference laboratory at the NPHL and the COVID-19 laboratory and its diagnostics network and build on previous Global Fund investments and activities for improved TB and COVID-19 diagnostics including multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB, and COVID-19 diagnostic activities. With the focus on those activities, the technical assistance is intended to achieve three key results:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of the NTRL and network of TB laboratories to improve quality and efficiencies of the TB diagnostics cascade,
  2. Improve the multi-disease diagnostic network across the country
  3. Develop necessary tools required for the NPHL related to TB and COVID-19 reference laboratories

Deliverables: 

The Senior Laboratory Specialist has the following deliverables:

Deliverable 1:

NTRL staff trained on National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL) work processes:  Hands-on training for the NTRL staff on TB reference laboratory work process including culture and DST conducted

Deliverable 2:

External quality assurance (EQA) for TB laboratory tests in the country fully carried out for the quarter and feedback provided to the peripheral laboratories

Deliverable 3:

Multi-disease diagnostic network in the country assessed and action plan for improvement developed.

Deliverable 4:

The NTRL is made fully functional – with TB culture, GeneXpert, EQA services running smoothly.

Deliverable 5:

Site supportive supervision for peripheral laboratories is adequately planned and coordinated.


Competencies

  1. Demonstrated experience in setting up, managing and strengthening microbiology laboratory services
  2. Technical competency in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (TB and DR-TB) including specific hands-on diagnostics experience.
  3. Competent in current diagnostic methods for tuberculosis including point-of-care tests.
  4. Understanding of emerging technologies and molecular methods in TB diagnostics


Required Skills and Experience

Advanced level (Master’s degree or above) in Microbiology, infectious diseases, Laboratory Medicine, Molecular Biology or related  At least 7 years of experience working in a national TB reference laboratory

At least 7+ years of progressive professional experience in TB-focused diagnostic strengthening and capacity

Language:

Excellent oral and written English. Advanced level (Master’s degree or above) in Microbiology, infectious diseases, Laboratory Medicine, Molecular Biology or related                                                              

  • At least 7 years of experience working in a national TB reference laboratory
  • At least 7+ years of progressive professional experience in TB-focused diagnostic strengthening and capacity
  • Demonstrated experience in setting up, managing and strengthening microbiology laboratory services
  • Technical competency in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (TB and DR-TB) including specific hands-on diagnostics experience.
  • Competent in current diagnostic methods for tuberculosis including point-of-care tests.
  • Understanding of emerging technologies and molecular methods in TB diagnostics
  • Fluency in written and spoken English 
  • Willingness and ability to travel to the field Location
  •  
  • Criteria for Evaluation
  • * Technical Criteria weight; [70%]

    * Financial Criteria weight; [30%]

    To be computed as a ratio of the Proposal’s offer to the lowest price among the proposals received by UNDP

    Payment Method for the Consultancy

    The consultant shall be paid on a daily rate (based on the number of working days worked)
  • The consultant shall be paid a Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA)
  • Payments shall be based on the Certificate of Payments that will be submitted
  • Time Sheet will be attached and verified by the direct supervisor; and
  • Final tranche upon performance evaluation from the direct supervisor.

  • Travel for the consultant

    All travel costs will be covered by UNDP according to its rules and regulations. Travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses will be agreed upon, between UNDP and the Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be covered and paid by UNDP. The fare will always be “most direct, most economical” and any difference in price with the preferred route will be paid for by the



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