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We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Malaria EQA Consultant - IHP - Nigeria
Ref Id: req5958
Locations: Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto
Estimated Level of Effort: 120 Days
Period of performance of the consultancy: February 13, 2020 – August 12, 2020
- The USAID Integrated Health Program (IHP) is an expanded effort by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the Government of Nigeria (GON) to identify and provide technical support for rapid scale-up of proven interventions through improvement of service delivery and strengthening of health systems.
- The activity will facilitate seven core intervention areas: health system strengthening (HSS), reproductive health/family planning, child health, maternal health, newborn health, nutrition and malaria (RMNCH +NM). Cross cutting areas including gender and social inclusion, sustainability and country ownership.
- IHP aims to support the rapid scale-up of proven interventions appropriate to each stage of life through improvement of service delivery and strengthening of health systems and optimizing each contact with a client. IHP works closely with state government in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto states to support established health and development plans, build capacity and ensure ownership of interventions, systems and results. USAID through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) supports the Government of Nigeria to implement its national malaria elimination strategy and plan in selected states.
- In fiscal year 2019/2020, IHP in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP), State Malaria Elimination Programs, State Ministries of Health (SMOHs) and key stakeholders in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto states is providing technical assistance for malaria diagnosis EQA system in selected health facilities.
- Program Activity: Technical support by three (3) laboratory technical consultants to the State Ministry of Health (SMOH) and agencies on strengthening external quality assurance (EQA) for malaria microscopy and malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT) in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto states.
- Evidence from various studies has shown that malaria is endemic in Nigeria and remains one of the leading causes of childhood and maternal morbidity and mortality in the country. Of fifteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India that accounts for almost 80% of global malaria burden, Nigeria alone accounts for 25% of malaria cases (World Malaria Report 2018). This has led to loss of millions of USD annually as a direct result of malaria infections and key causes of poverty, low productivity and reduced school attendance.
- Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are the basis management of malaria and for reducing malaria mortality and morbidity. The national guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of malaria recommends that all persons suspected to have malaria be tested before treatment. The parasitogical diagnosis should be accompanied by quality assurance (FMOH 2015). It is very important to confirm the presence of malaria parasite, as clinical diagnosis is poor and leads to wastage of antimalarial and could contribute to drug resistance. This recommendation has led to enhancement of malaria diagnostic capacity of most public health facilities in Nigeria in the form of personnel development and provision of malaria diagnosis commodities.
- The expected outcome of a malaria diagnosis quality assurance (QA) program is accurate and reliable results generated from malaria parasite diagnosis. To achieve the above, programs should ensure that malaria diagnostic services are conducted by competent and motivated staff, supported by effective in-service training and supervision that maintains high level of staff competency and performance. It involves monitoring of all processes that lead to provision of timely, reliable and accurate malaria diagnosis. This will strengthen quality malaria diagnostic services which plays a critical role in minimizing misdiagnosis, over-diagnosis, inadequate and inappropriate treatment and drug resistance, thus improving the overall effectiveness of malaria prevention and control efforts in Nigeria.
- In view of the foregoing, and in alliance with the national guideline for diagnosis and treatment of malaria, IHP is soliciting the services of three (3) experienced Consultants (one per state) who will provide residential technical support to the state malaria programs in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto to plan, implement and monitor malaria external quality assurance (EQA) in these states. Interested applicants should express interest in their preferred states, namely: Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto states accordingly.
- The consultant will provide technical assistance to the Malaria Program in the SMOH to plan, set-up, monitor and implement quality assurance for malaria diagnosis in the state for secondary/tertiary hospitals and PHC facilities.
- S/he will also support other malaria case management activities implemented by IHP in the state at the health facilities.
- State Ministries of Health (SMOH), State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), State Malaria Elimination Program (SMEP), Hospital Management Board (HMB), Local Government Health Authority (LGHA), Integrated Health Program (IHP), and the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
Among other things, the consultant will deliver the following:
- Operational guidelines and detailed implementation plan for the state malaria QA system developed, integrating malaria QA into primary health care training and supportive supervision for PHCs.
- Establishment of a functional malaria quality assurance (QA) center in the state with capacity to lead quality improvement efforts.
- State malaria diagnostic capacity assessment report with key findings and recommendations.
- Training report of the state Lab Scientists on QA and laboratory supervision.
- Detailed mentorship plan for the state trained Lab Scientists/Technicians that will improve clinical competency and skills retention.
- Development of EQA operational plan which includes ISS schedule, and quarterly malaria EQA visits to selected facilities with documented reports and recommendations.
- Report of training on mRDT quality assurance at PHC level including attendance and list of trainees.
- Documented outcome of malaria QA implementation in the state and report of presentation at state malaria coordination fora.
- Detailed activity report of the consultancy, as well as routine monthly, quarterly and annual reports submitted to IHP
Payments are made based on delivery of approved deliverables. All deliverables must be of high quality and submitted in Microsoft Word and in a PDF format. The deliverable will not be considered final until approved by the Chief of Party (CoP).
Required Qualifications, Experience / Skills
The desired consultant should possess the following:
- A post-graduate degree in relevant profession such as Medical Laboratory Science, Medical Parasitology, Medical Microbiology and Public Health.
- The candidate must possess at least 5-6 years professional experience in malaria control program related to diagnosis and case management; also, technical expertise on and experience in malaria EQA systems and procedures.
- Must be registered with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN); a WHO certified Malaria Microscopist will be an added advantage.
- Have experience working with Ministry of Health at federal and state levels, State Malaria Elimination Programs (SMEP) and implementing partners
- Excellent knowledge of the Nigerian health system at federal, state, LGA and community levels
- Demonstrated experience in developing and delivering capacity building workshops and in mentoring.
- Experience carrying out similar assignments in Nigeria particularly at the sub-national levels.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office packages.
Required Personal Competences:
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- Leadership, team building, coaching and mentoring capability
- Ability to engage and manage strategic stakeholders including government, implementing partners, academia and private sector
- Excellent communication skills (negotiation, moderation, representation, presentation and writing/documentation).
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