Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) is a five-year USAID-funded project with the following overall objectives:
Improve the detection of diseases of public health importance and identification of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in priority infectious diseases through an accessible, accurate, adaptable, timely, and integrated diagnostic network system;
Improve the quality of real-time surveillance systems for pathogens of greatest public health concern, including AMR and zoonotic diseases, and;
Generate evidence-based guidance and innovative solutions to strengthen in-country diagnostic networks and surveillance systems. In Myanmar, the IDDS project will focus on activities to strengthen the TB diagnostic network in line with the Government of Myanmar’s National Strategic Plan to achieve three key results:
Increase TB case detection Increase MDR-TB case detection Increase access to, and quality of, second line anti-TB drug resistance testing
FHI 360 is seeking a TB Senior Diagnostics Specialist (TB SDS) to lead the diagnostic network systems capacity building work for the IDDS project. The work will focus primarily on public health systems but may also include private health and other non-governmental diagnostic facilities (laboratories and point-of-care facilities). The position will be based in Yangon, Myanmar, and will involve frequent in-country travel. Technical responsibilities include working with the IDDS team in Myanmar, diagnostics global and regional leadership, in-country partners, ICF (project prime) and USAID to implement agreed strategies to enhance the TB diagnostic network in Myanmar.
This position reports to the IDDS Myanmar Team Lead.
- The TB SDS leads IDDS’s support to strengthen the TB diagnostic network in Myanmar at both the national and sub national levels in the following areas.
- Lead activities to optimize the use and functionality of GeneXpert (GX) and expansion of the GX network including the private sector.
- Lead strategies to enhance the quality of TB testing services, including introduction and scale up EQA for GX, and optimizing the use of smear microscopy.
- Collaborate with the NTRL and NTP to review and expand the TB diagnostic algorithm and support pilots and implementation.
- Lead diagnostic network assessments and develop actionable recommendations.
- Provide technical assistance to improve specimen transport and referral mechanisms.
- Provide technical assistance to strengthen the quality, management, and use of electronic diagnostic data and the scale-up of GxAlert including piloting in selected townships.
- Build the capacity of NTRL staff to establish systems to supervise TB laboratories and enhance quality and timeliness of services.
- Provide technical assistance to strengthen genotypic DST and liquid phenotypic culture and lead the development and implementation of second-line DST EQA for genotypic and phenotypic TB drug resistance testing.
- Provide technical assistance to BSL3 TB laboratories to achieve ISO 15189 accreditation.
- Provide technical assistance to increase the capacity and number of laboratory staff that are competent to perform second-line DST.
- Lead the development and implementation of second-line DST EQA for genotypic and phenotypic TB drug resistance testing.
- Lead and implement systems to ensure diagnostic quality and safety as well as timely reporting of TB testing results.
- Support strategies to ensure functional TB diagnostic equipment including systems to maintain laboratory equipment, securing maintenance contracts, and establishing a cadre of trained biomedical engineers.
- Build capacity of TB laboratories to perform more TB diagnostic tests (culture, DST, and LPA including SL).
- Develop and implement a package of comprehensive and linked interventions enabling functional GX sites at the national and sub national levels.
- Support initiatives to ensure cold chain for samples and reagents.
- Support national stakeholders in developing or updating national TB diagnostic network strategic plans, SOPs and policies.
- Monitors and reports progress with TB diagnostic network enhancement activities as per the approved country workplan.
- Leads efforts to build capacity in local TB diagnostic stakeholders and leaders to identify and oversee enhancements in diagnostic networks.
- Leads assessments of TB diagnostic facilities and leads the follow-up of corrective and preventive actions and quality improvement initiatives.
- Provides technical assistance and training to TB diagnostic facilities and the overall diagnostic network as part of overall capacity building and continuous improvement programs.
- Will be required to lead diagnostic network coordination and work with a diverse group of national organizations including the Government and other diagnostic network leaders, development partners, other regional and global IDDS staff and USAID.
- A minimum of an MSc in clinical diagnostics or an equivalent with a specialty in microbiology including a strong focus on TB.
- At least eight years of direct experience in TB diagnostic strengthening and capacity building in the country.
- Knowledge and experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (including TB) and AMR including specific hands-on diagnostics experience.
- Competent in current diagnostic methods for TB.
- Knowledge and experience with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Experience working in Myanmar
- Willingness and ability to travel a minimum of 50% within Myanmar and other travel as needed
- International applicants are preferred
- Selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.
- Will supervise at least four TB Diagnostic Specialists in-country.