Laboratory Quality Assurance Officer, TRACE

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 15 January 2020
  • Deadline Date: Saturday, 29 February 2020

Position Summary:

ICAP at Columbia University, a global health leader situated within the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, seeks a highly qualified candidates to serve as the Laboratory Quality Assurance Officer (QA) for the Tracking with Recency Assays to Control Epidemic (TRACE) project in Nigeria. The QA officer will work closely with the ICAP Laboratory Surveillance Advisor, state implementing partners (IPs), and the National Reference Laboratory (NRL). The TRACE project is a multi-year, multi-country initiative funded by CDC through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to establish HIV recent infection surveillance systems in countries nearing epidemic control in order to detect, characterize, monitor, and intervene on recent infection among newly diagnosed PLHIV in real-time. Under this project, ICAP works collaboratively with CDC and provides technical assistance to Ministries of Health and other local partners. In Nigeria, TRACE rollout will take place in Akwa Ibom, Benue, FCT, Lagos and Rivers states.

This position is grant funded.

Major Accountabilities:

The TRACE Laboratory Quality Assurance Officer (QA) will work closely with the ICAP Laboratory Surveillance Advisor, State Implementing partners, the NRL, the regional ICAP laboratory advisors, and the Senior Technical Advisor for Laboratory Surveillance at ICAP NY to oversee all quality management activities for HIV recency testing at the central level. He/she is responsible for development and distribution of QA/quality control (QC) SOPs, job aids and tools for TRACE projects. The incumbent will also be responsible for coordinating collection of blood units from state IPs to the NRL, receiving, processing (if necessary) and storing the units for production of QC panels, training panels (TPs) and proficiency testing (PT) panels. He/She will coordinate and oversee the production of all QA/QC panels for recency testing and be responsible for panel distribution on a regular basis. This individual will provide expert level support in rapid diagnosis testing, quality management, ethics, workforce training, good laboratory practice (GLP), and to oversee all specimen management.

Primary responsibilities of the QA Officer:

  • Coordinating, monitoring and receiving blood units sourced by state IPs at the NRL
  • Coordination of logistics for transportation of blood units and plasma
  • Characterize all blood samples for their HIV status using the national rapid testing algorithm and their recency status using the approved rapid test for recent infection (RTRI), and store them in well labelled conical tubes in the freezer
  • Daily temperature checks of all freezers and refrigerators used for TRACE and maintain daily temperature log to ensure specimen integrity
  • Maintain database with HIV and recency results, quantities available and other pertinent data
  • Receiving and monitoring stock of QC panel prep supplies
  • Determine QC panel needs based on number of testing sites and lead in the preparation and execution of at least two QC panel prep sessions annually
  • Support the production of TPs as needed for trainings and provide support for a PT program including the production of PT panels
  • Perform recency kit validation upon receipt of new kit lots in country from the manufacturer
  • Participate in technical monitoring visits to facilities
  • Lead and maintain appropriate QA/QC documentation
  • Provide monthly inventory for QC and PT panels, and all the characterized plasma aliquots in storage
  • Any other duty as assigned by supervisor

Education:

  • A Bachelor Degree or HND in Medical laboratory technology, Medical laboratory sciences, Degree in related Biological Sciences or equivalent qualification in Medical Laboratory Science.

Experience, Skills, and Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • Experience: Minimum five (5) years working experience in HIV testing laboratory and laboratory quality management systems is required. At least five (5) years of experience in the management of HIV projects/programs would be an added advantage.
  • Must be competent in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Strong organizational, time management, computer and communication skills, mentorship and team building skills to strengthen and cultivate relationship to help achieve organizational goal. Good analytical communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a variety of stakeholders (e.g. Ministry of Health, local government authorities, partner organizations, civil society and donors)
  • Demonstrated competence in the analysis of laboratory and quality control data
  • Familiarity with standards and federal/state regulations affecting the laboratory and laboratory practices.
  • Fluent English oral and written communication skills; ability to interact professionally in English.

Interested candidates apply here

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