Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of NTDs (ASCEND) is a £200 million investment from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), to advance the impact and sustainability of national programs tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). To be implemented between September 2019 to March 2022, ASCEND comprises of two lots - one focusing on South Asia, East and Southern Africa (lot 1) and the other on West and Central Africa (lot 2). ASCEND lot 1 is implemented by a consortium of technical partners led by Crown Agents, including Abt Associates, Oriole Global Health and the Royal Tropical Institute. Central to ASCEND 1’s approach is a close collaboration with National Governments and other implementing partners, to enhance national approaches to NTD control and elimination. ASCEND’s goal is to contribute to the global goal of reducing the burden of targeted NTDs so that they are no longer a public health problem.
In Malawi, ASCEND will focus on four NTDS – ONCHO, LF, Schistosomiasis and Trachoma anchored on the following broad areas of intervention:
- Treatment and prevention of disability, including mass drug administration (MDA), diagnosis and treatment, surgeries, morbidity management.
- Increasing the integration of aspects of NTD programmes within the health systems.
- Strengthening national health systems, integrating efforts to strengthen the relevant building blocks of the health system.
- Data for targeting and monitoring, including impact assessment and alignment of NTDs with national and international MEL systems and processes.
- Cross-sectoral collaboration, in particular within the health and WASH/BCC sectors.
DFID has contracted Crown Agents together with its consortium partners to act as Fund Manager for ASCEND in Malawi. Therefore, Crown Agents will work with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support the immediate procurement of services from Implementing Partners (IPs) that will further the above-stated objectives of ASCEND in the country.**
Scope of work
The Supply Chain Technical Officer will be responsible for providing a wide range of support to the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme. The officeholder will work closely with relevant partners, pharmaceutical and supply chain focal point persons within MoHP and Central Medical Stores Trust to coordinate the clearance and storage of drugs as well as distribution to the districts where the final distribution will take place. The officer will work closely with the NTD drug donation program managed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and NTD implementation partners to help build a sustainable supply chain management system. This will help to maintain the quality, efficacy and safety of the chemotherapy drugs used during mass drug administration campaigns in accordance with the NTD elimination and control goals.
The Supply Chain Technical Officer will be responsible for the following;
- Work with the implementing partners, WHO and relevant organs of MOH to create an NTD supply chain management system which will chart the procurement, storage and delivery of drugs from the central levels to the last mile.
- Overall NTD supply chain coordination, including training on general supply chain management for NTD programme staff and community distributors.
- Support quantification and procurement efforts of drugs. This includes the coordination of timely Joint Request Form submission and alignment of NTD supply chain processes with national quantification exercises.
- Operate and maintain an effective inventory management system that fosters accountability of NTD medicines at the end of MDAs and strengthens supply chain audits so as to minimise wastage. Keep all electronic records up-to-date to and ensure efficiency with supply chain and recording. Share regular inventory information with ASCEND Country and Regional Teams as well as with NTD program managers.
- Track and support the warehousing and distribution efforts of NTD drugs. Design and implement an effective last-mile distribution and reverse logistics management system.
- Support the development of NTD supply chain management guidelines to be used for management of NTD essential medicines.
- Advise the IPs about the special storage conditions for NTD drugs and supplies
- Work with MoHP and implementing partners in order to better synchronize the MDA schedule into the National supply chain system.
- Provide technical assistance (TA) to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), tools and systems to assist MoH in inventory management and other aspects of supply chain management that will assure the availability and quality of medicines and other commodities.
- Advise on “best practices” relevant to pharmaceutical supply chain management, including procurement, distribution plans, and storage systems.
- Identify bottlenecks in drug and supply management at national and district levels, and provide technical assistance to resolve them.
- Participate in identifying and prioritizing capacity development activities for strengthening national and district level pharmaceutical supply chains, and building expertise in monitoring and supervision.
- Monitor and document progress of activities toward achieving results of supply chain capacity building support and activities.
- Undertake other tasks as may be assigned by the Regional Managers and ASCEND Country Lead.
- Submit regular performance report to the NTD Programme Managers and the ASCEND Country Lead.
Knowledge (Education & Related Experience):
- Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management or relevant discipline
- At least five years of work experience in community health programs preferably in Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Experience working with DFID or other donor-funded projects preferred.
- Demonstrated knowledge of protection, prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation and the field of safeguarding is an added advantage
Skills (Special Training or Competence)
- Extensive knowledge of coordinating all the entities involved in a supply chain including the planning of procurement, production, inventory control, logistics and distribution.
- Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team-oriented setting.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
- Ability to deliver group-training sessions and build capacity in supply chain management.
- Strong communication skills both written and verbal.
- Willingness to travel and to conduct regular field visits.
- English fluency (required).