Location : Khartoum, SUDAN
Application Deadline : 28-Oct-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category : HIV, Health and Development
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : National Consultant
Languages Required : Arabic English
Duration of Initial Contract : 12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment : 12 months
UNDP is key partner to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and is the UN agency assuming the role of Principal Recipient for Global Fund grants in Sudan. In the role of Principal Recipient, UNDP is responsible for the financial and program management of the Global Fund grants as well as procurement of pharmaceutical, non-health items and required services. In all areas of implementation, UNDP provides capacity development services to relevant institutions, sub-recipients and implementing partners.
Regarding the HIV; Sudan is classified as a low HIV epidemic country with higher prevalence rates in the eastern zone of the country. The overall prevalence among female sex workers (FSW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) is estimated at 1.1 % and 1% respectively (IBBS, 2015). In the last four rounds of sentinel sero-surveillance among pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) clinics, the HIV prevalence rate has consistently remained below 1% except in four of the sentinel sites from the eastern part of Sudan where it was above 1%. According to the 2015 estimates, HIV prevalence among the adult population is estimated at 0.25% and deaths due to AIDS deaths at 2,973.
An antiretroviral therapy (ART) program was started in 2005 and has now been expanded to 38 sites. The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program is currently being integrated into the Reproductive Health Department in an effort to scale up service delivery.
All these efforts to control the HIV in Sudan needs to be shouldered by a strong and efficient laboratory services to fulfil the critical and strategic role in diagnosing HIV infection and monitoring its treatment. The laboratory is an essential part of the efforts to; Enable people know their HIV infection status according to quality assured HIV testing services, Monitor response to treatment, Conduct reliable surveillance, Ensure safety of blood and blood products.
It also worth mention that in Sudan FMOH and as part of its efforts to strengthen the HIV testing services in the country and in light of new global alterations that led to the delisting of some previously used kits by WHO; it was decided to conduct a validation study to update the HIV testing algorithm in the country and to come up with a set of backup algorithms to avoid any hiccups and delays that might arise form similar circumstances which might lead to delays in testing and impact the overall HIV response in the country.
In order to facilitate the Communicable and Non Communicable Disease Control Directorate at the FMOH and the National Public Health Laboratory in their effort to improve lab support for the HIV/AIDS interventions and to coordinate the laboratory components of the Global Fund’s HIV project, notably to build HIV diagnostic and to conduct a validation study of the HIV testing kits in Sudan it has now been agreed to recruit a senior national HIV lab expert to serve as resource person and to play a critical role in the process of reviewing and assessing the coverage, utilization and quality management of relevant HIV services.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of work
The scope of work of this consultancy will be divided into two parts:
Part one: Conduction of the HIV testing kits evaluation study to update the HIV testing algorithm and come up with 3 rescue algorithm to be adopted in case of unavailability of the main testing algorithm for any reason
Part two: To act as an advisor for CNCDCD in all the matters pertaining to the laboratory aspects of the HIV program including quality assurance system
Under the direct supervision of the Director of Communicable and Non Communicable Disease Control Department, CNCDCD at FMOH and the Deputy Programme Manager, GF PMU, UNDP and in coordination with the HIV Grant Manager and FMoH departments the laboratory expert will have the following responsibilities:
1- Provide technical support to the CNCDCD in all the laboratory aspects of the HIV program including but not limited to:
- Provide technical advice on the selection of the appropriate technologies for HIV testing and treatment monitoring and Design training materials for HIV rapid testing according to adopted algorithm in the country.
- Advice on suitable training modalities for laboratory personnel on HIV laboratory services in special situations as requested by CNCDCD, which are efficient and conform to quality requirements of training.
- Develop a plan to collect laboratory quality, cost, and cost-effectiveness data for HIV diagnostic algorithms that can support policy change
- Develop a viral load expansion plan across the country. The plan should meet the needs of the new test at treat policy.
- Provide responses to the GF technical concerns with regard to the HIV program laboratory component.
2- Timely conduction of validation study of HIV testing kits to come with an updated testing algorithm and back up algorithms
3- Design and implement comprehensive system for quality assurance of HIV rapid testing services and other HIV laboratory services as requested by CNCDCD, with phased implementation plan according to priorities.
4- Serve as member of the national HIV technical advisory committee to support the HIV laboratory component of the HIV grant
5- Facilitate discussion in the national HIV technical advisory committee on the scope and methodology of assessment of lab support to HIV/AIDS interventions in Sudan
6- Actively participate in the assessment of the lab and lead the report writing
7- Present regular progress updates to the GF PMU
The applicant is required to deliver reports to the GF PMU:
- Comprehensive, solid and time lined plan for the first year of the consultancy (upon signature)
- An inception report detailing the methodology and the protocol that will be adopted to conduct the validation study (within 5 working days from signature)
- Progress report on the validation study (after 2 weeks form signature)
- Presentation of draft findings (4 weeks from signature)
- Final narrative report on the validation study (6 weeks from signature)
- Comprehensive proposal for development and implementation of quality assurance system for HIV rapid testing services and other HIV laboratory services
- Monthly progress activity report clearly stating the activities implemented and the outputs within the defined period as per agreed plan with CNCDCD.
Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
Exerts strict adherence to corporate rules, regulations and procedures.
Knowledge Management and Learning Shares knowledge and experience.
Development and Operational Effectiveness
- Ability to perform specialized tasks related to Results-Based Management, including support to design, planning and implementation of programme, managing data & reporting.
- Ability to establish and maintain contacts with senior-level officials of the host government required.
- Excellent interpersonal skills are essential part of the job.
- Excellent analytical and strong communication skills both written and spoken
Leadership and Self-Management
Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure, demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced degree in laboratory medicine, such as a PhD or an MSc. in medical science
II. Years of experience:
- At least 15 years of experience and strong scientific background in research, microbiology, and/or clinical laboratory medicine
- Demonstrable understanding of HIV laboratory medicine and related public health issues required; a solid understanding of other infectious diseases would be an added benefit
- Relevant experience working in laboratory medicine in low- and middle-income countries, including the drafting, validation, and implementation of laboratory SOPs
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills, and strong presentation skills
- Knowledge of diagnostics regulatory requirements (WHO, FDA, and CE-IVD Mark) strongly preferred
- Previous experience of working in the Sudan National HIV Control Program (SNAP) or providing technical assistance to the HIV laboratory component of the Sudan HIV control response is an added benefit.
- Also previous experience of conducting HIV laboratories review or participating in such review missions is an added benefit.
In order to be successful in submitting a proposal, interested consultants shall read the complete Procurement Notice and use the attachments for submission which can be accessed by using the following link:
Note: Only Sudanese nationals are eligible for this consultancy
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