Laboratory and CQI Advisor

Catholic Relief Services - Zambia Country Program

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identify is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as part of our staff and as partner’s people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and commitment to serving those in need. Since 2000 CRS Zambia has been implementing several programmes to support vulnerable Zambians. Its recent programming areas include nutrition, agriculture, food security, HIV/AIDS, WASH, financial inclusion, and early child development.

JOB SUMMARY:

Catholic Relief Services Zambia is seeking to employ a laboratory advisor to support HIV care and treatment grant that will support Zambia’s HIV response through targeted faith-based sites to achieve UNAIDS Fast Track goals for epidemic control: 90% diagnosed, 90% on treatment, 90% virally suppressed. The project is set to scale up HIV treatment activities in Zambia to increase the availability, accessibility and quality HIV treatment services using the community approach.

ROLES AND RESPONSABILITIES:

Reporting to the Provincial Coordinator, the Laboratory/Continuous Quality Improvement Advisor (L/CQIA) will offer support for the projects laboratory systems encompassing technical teams and facility-based staff/structures, as well as offer technical support to all project technical and community teams ensuring high interventions standards are maintained. The Laboratory/CQI Advisor will support and contribute to the development of high-quality health laboratory systems in supported sites for the delivery of comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and care programs by leading teams to increase access to laboratory testing services, ensure service utilization by ensuring that lab supplies, equipment and staff conform to laid down lab standard operating procedures for service delivery. He or She will support the implementation of a functioning laboratory Quality Management System, quality control measures making sure the quality of results and safety targets are attained and sustained. The Lab/CQI Advisor will offer technical support to project and PHOs technical/community teams ensuring high interventions standards are maintained. The Lab/CQI Advisor will work with treatment teams at PHOs and their supported faith-based health facilities motivating them to test and implement quality improvement initiatives for HIV treatment at health facility and community levels.

The Lab/CQI advisor will collaborate with the PHOs to ensure that quality assurance and quality improvement (QA/QI) standards are maintained and that their supported faith-based health facilities scale up QI interventions at all levels of treatment provision.

KEY RESPONSABILITIES:

  • Support the development of action plans to address the capacity needs designing actionable, and sustainable laboratory services strengthening strategy for the project
  • In close collaboration with MOH at national provincial and district levels ensure that there are mechanisms available for strengthening access to quality lab testing at supported sites
  • Ensure supported sites have adapted and instituted MOH good laboratory practices, standard operating procedures and protocols for service delivery
  • Support the implementation of laboratory capacity building programs including strategies based on supportive supervision and performance assessment and monitoring systems.
  • Train and mentor laboratory staff at supported sites in collaboration with district laboratory focal teams to strengthen technical assistance as part of the roll out of new testing guidelines as outlined in the 90:90:90 goal in Zambia
  • Ensure supported sites expand and strengthen laboratory Quality Management Systems (QMS) Quality Assurance (QA), Externa Quality Assurance(EQA), and accreditation.
  • Contribute to the development of work plans and procedures; support the implementation of action plans related to laboratory Quality Management System activities.
  • Will provide continued technical support to the laboratory staff at all supported facilities to improve quality assurance programs including HIV rapid tests, CD4, VL, EID, TB, Hematology, and Chemistry.
  • Work in collaboration with clinical teams to ensure adequate support to strengthen access for quality lab services by putting in place functional referral networks that guarantee timely feedback and linkage of clients to treatment
  • Provide advisory and support to health facilities for the recruitment and training of dedicated laboratory personnel to ensure adequate staffing.
  • Strengthening the supply chain management system for test kits and reagents
  • Assess lab infrastructure needs and work with facility teams to address the gaps
  • Analyze monthly lab reports and work with the project team to make informed decision towards service delivery
  • Support reporting through contribution to monthly, quarterly and annual activity reports in collaboration with the projects monitoring and evaluation/strategic information team
  • Document best practices for replication and betterment of client services
  • Support PHOs to set up operational quality improvement systems and tools at their supported faith-based health facilities.
  • Continuously support continuous quality improvement (CQI) teams ensuring that they are functional within the PHO’s supported health facilities
  • Work with PHOs to motivate CQI teams to carry out small tests of Change (STOC) to innovatively implement treatment concepts for treatment scale up in line with the 95:95:95 goal
  • Training health care workers and built their capacities to operationalize quality management
  • In collaboration with PHO’s clinical teams monitor quality improvement initiatives to hold gains/best practice for continuum of care
  • Translate CQI interventions into programming evidence to inform the design of CQI implementation strategies and sustain continuing good treatment practices.
  • Empower health care workers through the development of continuous quality improvement (CQI) capacities at supported sites ensuring that staff have a sense of ownership of health care improvement
  • Work with community treatment partners to ensure that CQI interventions are rolled down to support treatment scale up as part of the community approach to treatment and care
  • Support the documentation of all quality improvement initiatives and outcomes to inform programming
  • Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • The applicant should preferably hold a Diploma in laboratory or health sciences or public health
  • 5 years’ experience working in testing and techniques essential for the diagnosis and monitoring of the following (but not limited to): HIV/AIDS, TB, STIs, OIs and other infectious diseases.
  • Experience managing laboratories with a good grasp of lab standard operating procedure necessary for HIV service delivery
  • Ability to transfer skills by way of training, mentorship, staff motivation and working in teams
  • Hand on experience in developing QA/QC systems for large laboratories and or health facilities at national, provincial, district and community levels and in conducting quality audit on Quality Systems
  • A good grasp and understanding of the Zambian health system and the Zambian HIV response including awareness on the implication of the test and treat strategy towards laboratory services in the country
  • Working knowledge in Quality Management and Monitoring Systems in Zambia

Required Languages – English

Travel – Must be willing and able to travel up to 25%.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
  • Team leadership abilities
  • Presentation and facilitation skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented

Preferred Qualifications

  • Excellent English writing skills.
  • Experience and abilities in capacity strengthening – developing curricula and facilitating trainings.
  • Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.

Agency-wide Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Supervisory Responsibilities:  Oversee and supervise all project staff for EPIC 3-90

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party (Operations), Senior Lead Technical Advisor, Senior SI/M&E Advisor, Senior Technical Advisor/Capacity strengthening and CQI, Povincial coordinator, Provincial SI/M&E Advisor and Provincial Health Offices,

External: Host country government agencies, donor agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations.

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our

commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer:  This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Note: By applying for this job, you understand and acknowledge that CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. Further, you understand that if you are a successful candidate, you will be subject to a comprehensive background check, and your personal/professional references will be asked to evaluate your behaviors related to the above safeguarding-related topics.

Applicant Instructions: Please email a cover letter, and curriculum vitae which should include three references to: [email protected] Please include the position you are applying for in the subject line.

The closing date for applications is 13th November 2022. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.


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