Health Officer – Laboratory at International Rescue Committee (Maiduguri)

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC has been present in Nigeria since 2012 when the organization responded to flooding in Kogi state. In February 2014 the IRC moved into Adamawa State in NE Nigeria to provide humanitarian interventions through a multi-sectoral, integrated approach for conflict affected populations. IRC Nigeria now operates a country office in Abuja and field offices in Mubi and Yola of Adamawa State, Maiduguri and Monguno of Borno state and Damatru of Yobe State. Currently, IRC Nigeria implements programs primary health care, nutrition, environmental health, women’s protection and empowerment, protection, child protection, education, food security & livelihoods.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Health Officer – Laboratory

Requisition ID: req20962
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Employment Type: Full Time
Sector: Health
Employment Category: Regular
Open to Expatriates: No

Job Overview / Summary

  • This project employs a health system strengthening approach to provide a high-quality primary health care services (reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services), while using antimicrobials rationally.
  • The Health Officer -Laboratory will be responsible for improvement of access to quality antimicrobial agents for infections in humans through enhancement of laboratory capacity, appropriate sample handling and transportation, ensure correct AMR testing and HWs capacity building.   
  • She/he will work closely with University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital laboratory and ensure implementation of program activities according to proposal objectives and nationally accepted standards.
  • The Health Officer -Laboratory reports to the Health Manager -AMR.

Major Responsibilities
Program Implementation, Technical Quality, and Strategy:

  • Work to improve diagnostics within the 12 supported health facilities including UMTH.
  • Ensure timely supplies of the project diagnostic tools like rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), reagents, specimen containers, agar, specimen plates, solar operating equipment (microscope, centrifuge, incubators) and other supplies to the supported health facilities on need based.
  • Identify needs and support improvement in structural laboratory capacity of the supported facility.
  • Build capacity of the laboratory staff and ensure good supervision better track results through a tablet for data collection.
  • Plan and support quarterly supportive supervision sessions jointly conducted by the IRC, State MoH and NCDC to monitor improvement in diagnostics, prescribing practices and IPC.
  • Ensure regular monthly and random sampling of blood and urine from the targeted population, with samples from neonates, children under 5, and pregnant women and ensure that this testing is geared towards expansion of the existing resistance testing and will be used to form an antibiogram for future antibiotic use locally.
  • When need arises, ensure yeast or fungal samples are collected and tested monthly or as periodically planned for fluconazole resistance among the targeted groups.
  • Identify training needs and organize trainings for laboratory staff, HWs, MoH officials and private providers on risk of AMR, rational antimicrobial use, fundamental of bioterrorism, IPC in line with the project deliverables.
  • Support and follow up with collection of samples and testing clinical failures of gonorrhea treatment for potential resistance testing among the target groups as need may be.
  • Provide support for accurate diagnosis by improving adherence to protocols and bolstering laboratory capacity at supported health facilities.
  • Develop distribution plan and ensure laboratory and other medical supplies to supported health facilities are planned on need based.
  • Facilitate test positive cultures for bacteria, particularly for Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella species, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, by disk susceptibility to penicillin, ceftriaxone, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin) among the targeted groups.
  • Ensure supplies and provision of antimalaria resistance testing at the UMTH.
  • Support and monitor rationale use of antimicrobials, and infection prevention and control (IPC) and facilitate quality of care audits.

Human Resource Management:

  • Supervise and monitor Community health volunteers, CHIPS agents, HWs at supported health facilities and micromanaging Health Assistants -SBCC to improve access to quality primary health care and enhancement of laboratory capacity.
  • Develop and conduct capacity building activities for HWs on antimicrobial testing, risk of AMR and rational antimicrobial use.

Operations:

  • Maintain an updated record and compile and submit monthly reports of all services given.
  • Monitor and ensure the proper usage of laboratory, pharmaceutical and other health program supplies.
  • Prepare weekly work plans and movement plan and ensure timely implementation of the project activities.
  • As team officer, maintain vigilance and monitor surroundings for security of the team for outreach activities and adhere to IRC’s safety and security protocols.

Communication and Reporting:

  • Support Health Manager -AMR in compiling statistical reports from the supported health facilities and communities for weekly, monthly and annually submissions.
  • Ensure adequate flow of information for all supervises with constant feedback as may be required.
  • Carry out other relevant or requested duties as may be required.

Key Result Areas

  • Improvement of key project objectives, milestones and deliverables within the timeframe.
  • Timely and quality health care services to displaced persons, refugees and other vulnerable groups.
  • AMR surveillance, biosecurity and antimicrobial stewardship in the supported health facilities.
  • Improvement of uptake of quality primary health care services and rational antimicrobial use.
  • Increased uptake of positive practices related to health and hygiene.

Key Working Relationships

  • Position Reports to:  Health Manager -AMR
  • Indirect/Technical Reporting:  Senior Health Manager and Health Coordinator
  • Position directly Supervises: incentive workers, community volunteers, CHIPS agents, HWs in supported health facilities especially those in the laboratory and micromanaging health assistants -SBCC.

Key Internal Contacts:

  • Country Program: Health program assistant, Senior health promotion officer, senior capacity building officers, health/RH managers, M&E officer

Key External Contacts: 

  • MOH, NCDC, UMTH, other INGOs (e.g., possible collaborative partners), Community leaders, health facility management team and private providers.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Laboratory Science, Clinical / Medical Microbiology or related field, and evidence of completion of NYSC (Discharge / Exemption Certificate)
  • Must possess the practicing license or qualifying certificate.
  • certificate in AMR, biosecurity, biotechnology is an added advantage.

Work Experience:

  • Two to three years’ experience in clinical laboratory or public health, with background in Health, SRH and Nutrition, Social and Behavioral Change and communication.
  • Ability to work with tertiary health institution laboratory like UMTH.
  • Ability to work with displaced communities with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Experience in working in a team and able to lead a team.
  • Proven experience in community-based programming with the ability to motivate and lead CHIPS/community volunteers.

Demonstrated Technical / Leadership / Interpersonal Skills:

  • Good knowledge of clinical care especially laboratory practices.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to manage tight deadlines and deliver high volumes of work with minimal supervision.
  • Good sense of integrity, service and accountability.
  • Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines.
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences and understanding of the social, political and ethical issues surrounding program delivery
  • Ability to work well with others and to respect staff, subcontractors, consultants and recipients of assistance.

Languages: 

  • Fluent in written/spoken English and Hausa
  • Ability to speak local languages (Kanuri, Shuwa etc.) will be added advantage.

Computer / Other Tech Requirements:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint with data processing and management. 

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

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