Wastewater Diagnostics Specialist

FHI 360

Wastewater Diagnostics Specialist

  • Lusaka
  • FHI 360
  • 1 year ago

Title: Wastewater Diagnostics  Specialist

Location: Lusaka ,Zambia


The CDC Enhancing Global Health Security (EGHS) project is a global mechanism that supports Global Health Security Agenda goals through programs and activities focused on protecting and improving health security at country and regional levels. Core priorities include strengthened laboratory and surveillance systems, public health workforce, emergency operations, and capacity to implement the International Health Regulations.

The primary function of this position is to provide technical assistance to recipients of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism (GFATM C19RM) to strengthen national laboratory systems with effective modern point-of-care and laboratory-based diagnostics, comprehensive quality management systems, timely and accurate reporting of animal and human diseases, strong specimen referral and transport system, and laboratory information systems.

Technical Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical assistance to establish routine wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 and other priority diseases including polio in Lusaka.
  • Provide technical assistance to design the wastewater surveillance strategy from collection through laboratory analysis to response, requiring the development of sampling and testing SOPs and tools, and enabling procurement of consumables in coordination with APHL.
  • Liaise with GFATM implementer and CDC in country to provide relevant technical facilitation.  Utilize technical backstopping support from APHL for methods.
  • Support national stakeholders to develop wastewater surveillance strategic plans, SOPs, and policies for utilization of results.
  • Monitor and report progress with wastewater surveillance activities as per the approved country work plan.
  • Provide technical support to ZNPHI for wastewater surveillance system methods and strategies development based on current best practices and established diagnostic and operational standards while also being locally relevant and sustainable.
  • Strengthen capacity in local diagnostic stakeholders to utilize information obtained through wastewater surveillance.
  • Align wastewater surveillance diagnostics with ongoing national quality management system enhancements under the auspices of the Ministry of Health Quality Assurance Coordinating Unit.
  • Provide technical assistance to ZNPHI and other consumers of wastewater surveillance data such as UTH Virology (polio surveillance), the food and drug lab (cholera surveillance) and the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company and other WASH stakeholders.
  • Align wastewater surveillance with ongoing QMS toward accreditation under the auspices of the MOH Quality Assurance Coordinating Unit.
  • Coordinate and work with a diverse group of national organizations including the government and other diagnostic network leaders, development partners, other regional and global EGHS staff, and CDC
  • Advise on expansion of wastewater surveillance to additional geographic locations and diagnostic capabilities, as guided by Zambia government priorities
  • Coordinate with EGHS team in other countries to ensure synergies and experience sharing within the project and across countries to remain abreast of emerging methodology for wastewater surveillance
  • Contribute to the preparation of required reports.

Applied Knowledge and Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of and experience in PCR diagnostics (bench experience), and environmental sampling.
  • In-depth knowledge of quality management system.
  • Awareness of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the Global Health Security Agenda and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious disease threats.
  • Working knowledge of laboratory reporting tools, and laboratory information systems
  • Sensitivity to cultural diversity and understanding of the political, contextual, and ethical issues in assigned areas.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills.
  • Excellent and demonstrated project management skills.
  • Ability to network and collaborate with others in a complex multi-partner context.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with using Microsoft Office Suite required.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data, identify errors, and prepare reports.
  • Ability to solve problems and implement corrective action as needed.

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in clinical diagnostics or equivalent.
  • At least 6 years of relevant experience in diagnostic system strengthening and capacity strengthening in the country.
  • Experience in diagnosis of infectious diseases, including specific hands-on diagnostics experience
  • Competent in current diagnostic methods for infectious diseases, including point-of-care tests.
  • Knowledge and experience with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA.
  • Prior work experience in a non-governmental organization (NGO), government agency, or private organization.
  • International program development or program management experience preferred.

Typical Physical Demands

  • Typical office environment
  • Ability to spend long hours looking at a computer screen and doing repetitive work on a keyboard
  • Ability to sit and stand for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift/move up to 5 lbs.

Technology to be Used

  • Personal computer, Microsoft Office (Office 365, SharePoint, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Skype/Zoom/Teams, cell phone/mobile technology, and standard office equipment.


  • Up to 75% within the country

Language Requirements

  • Must be able to read, write, and speak fluent English

The closing date for applications is 28 September,2022

This job posting summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.

FHI 360 will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws.

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