Technical Advisor for HIV Treatment and Care in the Ministry of Health, Malawi
I-TECH Malawi is seeking to recruit a highly qualified and experienced HIV Medical Expert to work for the Department for HIV and AIDS, Ministry of Health (MOH).
This is a unique opportunity for a seasoned international HIV expert to contribute to Malawi’s renowned HIV Care & Treatment Program. The Technical Advisor will work under the leadership of the Department Director, and join a dedicated team of around 30 program staff. This team has earned a global reputation for cutting-edge public health program leadership and many innovations that have shaped international policy, such as Option B+ for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
I-TECH has been privileged to provide direct technical support to the Government of Malawi, Ministry of Health (MoH), since 2008, through seconded senior technical assistants, program officers and public health fellows. The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) was established in 2002 at the University of Washington in Seattle. I-TECH is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV and AIDS (CDC-DGHA) under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The primary purpose of the position is to strengthen the treatment, care and support component of the national HIV programs in the MOH in Malawi. The TA will assist the Department for HIV and AIDS in the development and implementation of treatment, care and support services for HIV and AIDS aligned with the 90-90-90 framework and the 5-year National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV 2015-2020. This will include: providing national level technical assistance to improve policies, strategies and guidelines that are evidence-based and maximise impact of the national HIV program; monitor programmatic performance on the HIV care cascade for adults, children and Option B+ women, from enrolment to ART initiation, adherence and retention in care; and submit recommendations on programmatic refinement to the Director and Program Managers in the HIV and AIDS department in a responsive manner. Specific areas include providing technical guidance to (1) improve the quality of care for prevention and management of HIV associated conditions; (2) strengthen basic packages of HIV care and support, diagnostic support and interventions that are appropriate to the type/ category of HIV care clinic; (3) address health systems bottlenecks that impact on the quality of clinical care, retention and attainment of viral suppression; (4) strengthen linkages between HIV care and support and other HIV prevention services. The TA will interact with and provide support to stakeholders, MOH staff and service providers in the public and private sector. Training and mentoring of Malawian counterparts (fellows and MOH staff) involved in HIV/TB Treatment and Care will be among major components of the TA’s functions. The TA will contribute biomedical and programmatic expertise tailored to Malawi’s health system context, and support dissemination of data and knowledge from Malawi’s progress in scaling-up treatment, care and support programs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Strategic Planning and Program Management (60%)
- Through direct support and mentoring of counterparts, and in concert with the Director of the Department of HIV and AIDS, MOH and other TAs, assist in strengthening the MOH’s implementation of all health services that make up the continuum of HIV care including biomedical prevention, treatment, care and support, and impact mitigation aspects of the health sector response to HIV and AIDS.
- Support the inclusion of HIV and AIDS component in the development of the Ministry of Health’s Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP).
- Provide leadership and technical expertise for the development, updating, and implementation of policies, guidelines and job aids for the national HIV and AIDS programs.
- Coordinate with national and international partners to ensure the MOH’s timely and efficient implementation of the 5 year National Strategic Plan (focusing on HTC, ART, PMTCT, OI, and STI), and achievement of the 90-90-90 targets as set in the plan.
- Assist in improving access to ART for PMTCT and increased uptake of paediatric ART in line with the national HIV guidelines and national targets.
- Work with all stakeholders to periodically review pre-service and in-service training curricula for health workers in ART/PMTCT service delivery and management of HIV related conditions and infections.
- Provide technical expertise and support coordination for district health offices and district-level implementing partners to strengthen the national clinical mentorship program, continuous quality improvement interventions and the national quarterly supportive supervision exercise, to ensure quality of HIV services at facility level.
- Provide leadership in HIV and AIDS technical working groups and sub-groups to ensure enhanced coordination, harmonization and strengthening of HIV prevention treatment and care policies, guidelines and standard operating procedures, and standardized training of health care workers.
Systems Strengthening and Capacity Building (30%)
- Facilitate the development,review and implementation of management systems and standards for technical support services such as laboratory support (including Routine Viral load scale up and Early Infant Diagnosis), referral systems, drug security, drug forecasting and quantification, grant management (e.g. Global Fund grant, MOH-CDC Cooperative agreement) and monitoring and evaluation as it relates to HIV and AIDS treatment and care.
- Support the management of the HIV and AIDS Department to effectively work with all stakeholders, at policy and implementation level, within and outside the Ministry, and within and outside Malawi, in sharing information and in promoting the interests of the MOH in contributing in the formulation of inter-sectoral, regional, international and other policies and guidelines for HIV/AIDS treatment and care issues.
- Help in identifying systems’ needs for the running of the HIV and AIDS Department in the Ministry of Health in support of the TA’s core functions.
- Assist the MOH with establishing and maintaining a monitoring system for in-service training and mentoring activities for clinical HIV services.
- Help in identifying innovative cost effective best practices in HIV and AIDS programs by implementing partners and promote replicating them in other districts.
- Conduct on-the-job training and mentoring for Fellows in HIV treatment, care and support fellowship program.
Support Operations Research (10%)
- Facilitate the development of a prioritized operations research plan relevant to Malawi in the areas of HIV prevention, treatment and care, and develop the capacity of the Ministry in designing, implementing, evaluating, writing and disseminating operations research findings.
- Assist the MOH with preparing strategies, annual work-plans, quarterly reports and other ad hoc reports on the state of scaling-up and performance of, research, stakeholder participation and budgets and expenditures as it relates to HIV treatment care and support services.
- Support relevant junior staff in developing and conducting small/short research work.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Experience and knowledge of HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care activities especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa, and, ideally first-hand experience of rapid ART/PMTCT scale-up
- Experience and knowledge in HIV care and support interventions and capacity of health services delivery structure in a Sub-Saharan African setting (specific Malawi experience a plus)
- Clinical experience in HIV case management preferred
- A strong background in promoting the ‘public health approach’ for service delivery in extremely resource constrained settings.
- Working experience of HIV and AIDS and other public-health disease control programs in Africa and a record of working with and managing sizable teams
- Close professional links with partners and experts in relevant international agencies.
- A strong background in operational research and a proven track record of success in terms of implementing studies (as demonstrated by writing papers for peer-reviewed journals) and translating research into policy and practice
- Familiarity with the scientific literature on HIV prevention, treatment, Care and Support
- Self-starter with well-developed written and oral communication skills and the ability to work constructively and well in a multi-cultural multi-discipline setting with a wide array of experts in the field (proven experience in working in Malawi preferred)
Qualifications and Experience
- Qualified physician.
- At least ten years post-qualification experience in infectious diseases of which at least five years should be in sub-Saharan Africa (or equivalent combination of education and experience), in the area of HIV treatment, care and support programs implementation.
- Incumbent must have the clinical and public health expertise and must have demonstrated practical experience in managing a large clinical program in a developing country context
Applications with Curriculum Vitae (CV), three traceable referees and relevant copy certificates should be sent or emailed to the following address:
Director of Operations and Compliance
International Training and Education Centre for Health-(I-TECH-Malawi)
ARWA House, City Centre
P.O. Box 30369
For more information about I-TECH, visit our website: http://www.go2itech.org/