The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org
With the establishment of the ambitious 2020 "90-90-90" treatment targets, there is a renewed focus on initiating HIV-infected people onto ART as soon as possible, and ensuring they remain on effective treatment to achieve viral suppression - both of which require better access to Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and Viral Load (VL) testing. However, access to effective EID and VL testing is hampered, as the market for both tests has historically been dominated by complex, laboratory-based technologies, which are unable to meet the entire testing need in resource-limited settings. These technologies require high capital investment, sophisticated laboratory infrastructure and highly trained technicians that are not available in many settings, and have limited geographic reach. As a result, most patients do not have access to testing on-site where they receive care, instead relying on transportation of samples to and results from centralized laboratories to provide access to testing. Although these conventional, laboratory-based technologies have formed the backbone for national testing programs and have provided testing to many patients, implementation has been hampered by system challenges in establishing effective sample transportation networks, transmitting test results to patients, and optimizing laboratory workflows.
The goal of this project is to speed clinical decision-making by reducing test turn-around time for EID and VL testing. This will enable earlier treatment initiation for HIV-positive infants, earlier interventions for patients with poor treatment adherence, and timelier switching of patients onto more effective second-line regimens in the case of first-line treatment failure. To reach this goal, the project will increase the proportion of EID and VL results that are returned to patients through the scale-up of point of care (POC) products as well as the strengthening of existing conventional HIV diagnostics programs.
The Country Support Manager (CSM) will work with the Laboratory Services Team (LST) to ensure the rapid scale-up and effective management of high-quality diagnostics for high burden diseases, focusing primarily on diagnostics for patients with HIV. The CSM will work with Ministries of Health and CHAI country teams across multiple focal countries, helping to optimize policies and processes, expand access to high quality diagnostics, ensure that countries have adopted best practices in planning and implementation of testing programs, and support forecasting and procurement of essential diagnostic products.
The CSM will support countries in the implementation of both conventional, laboratory-based diagnostic products and new, innovative POC products that bring diagnostics out of the laboratory and closer to the patient. In particular, The CSM will support countries in adopting the recently published WHO 2016 guidelines and to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020, by working with countries to develop and implement innovative strategies for scaling up testing and monitoring programs, which include HIV diagnosis (targeting key populations in lower prevalence settings), CD4 testing, Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and viral load (VL) monitoring of patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). In addition, the CSM will assist countries with the evaluation, adoption and uptake of new POC diagnostic products, which can reduce the burden of undergoing testing, and improve access to essential tests, particularly in rural areas.
The CSM will also support LST in global negotiations with diagnostics manufacturers to lower prices, and with the development of new procurement strategies such as instrument rental deals to enable easier product switching. Finally, the CSM will help develop LST's market-shaping strategy for fostering competition in the global diagnostics market. In doing so, the CSM will develop strong relationships with various teams within CHAI, as well as Ministries of Health, diagnostics manufacturers, and other external partners in beneficiary countries.
We are seeking a highly motivated individual with outstanding credentials, qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities, and communication skills. The CMA must be able to function independently and flexibly and have a strong commitment to excellence. CHAI places great value on relevant personal qualities: resourcefulness, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, work ethic and emotional intelligence.
This is a challenging but rewarding role, which will have direct and near-term impact on thousands of patients in need of life-saving health services. The role will be based in Tanzania and will support Malawi and Zimbabwe, with up to 50% travel time.