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Laboratory Manager at the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA)

The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) is an independent humanitarian medical NGO that was created in 2009 by professionals of humanitarian medicine. ALIMA’s mission is to provide medical care in emergency situations or medical catastrophes.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Laboratory Manager – M / F 

Location: Owo, Ondo

The ALIMA Association

  • ALIMA’s ETHOS: ALIMA’s purpose is to save lives and provide care for the most vulnerable populations, without any discrimination based on identity, religion or politics, through actions based on proximity, innovation, and the alliance of organizations and individuals.
  • We act with humanity and impartiality in accordance with universal medical ethics. To gain access to patients, we undertake to act in a neutral and independent manner.
  • Our Charter defines the Values and Principles of our action:
    • Patient First
    • Revolutionizing humanitarian medicine
    • Responsibility and freedom
    • Commitment to a dynamic of continuous quality improvement
    • Creating a climate of trust among colleagues
    • Collective intelligence
    • Environmental liability
  • ALIMA promotes and defends the principles of fundamental human rights. ALIMA has a zero-tolerance approach towards those guilty of acts of gender and sexual violence as well as towards inaction in the face of alleged or proven acts of violence. The protection of those benefiting from and impacted by our intervention is our top priority in everything we do. Everyone collaborating with ALIMA is committed to:
  • Respect the charter, the code of conduct, the institutional policies including the policy of protection against abuse of power and sexist and sexual violence, the policy of prevention of corruption and fraud;

Caring – Innovating – Together:

  • Since its creation in 2009, ALIMA has treated more than 6 million patients. Today ALIMA works in 12 countries in Western and Central Africa. In 2020, we developed 41 humanitarian medical response projects to meet the needs of populations affected by conflict, epidemics and extreme poverty. All of these projects support national health authorities through nearly 330 health structures (including 28 hospitals and 300 health centers).
  • We work in partnership, especially with local NGOs, whenever possible to ensure that our patients benefit from the expertise wherever it is, whether in their country or the rest of the world. In addition, to improve the humanitarian response, we are carrying out operational and clinical research projects, particularly in the field of the fight against malnutrition and haemorrhagic viral fevers. ALIMA is also leading operations in response to the covid-19 pandemic across all of our missions.
  • ALIMA’S Team: More than 2000 people currently work for ALIMA. The field teams, as close as possible to the patients, receive their support from the coordination teams generally based in the capitals of the countries of intervention. These receive support from the 4 desk teams and the emergency and opening service team based at the operational headquarters in Dakar, Senegal.
  • The Paris and New York teams are actively working on fundraising as well as representing ALIMA. The rest of the ALIMA Galaxy includes individuals and partner teams who work on behalf of other organizations such as medical NGOs BEFEN, ALERTE Santé, SOS Médecins / KEOOGO, AMCP, research organizations PACCI, INSERM, Universities of Bordeaux or Copenhagen, the NGO Solidarités International and many others.

ALIMA in Owo:

  • Lassa fever (LF) is a viral disease that can lead to a syndrome of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF). Lassa virus is distributed throughout West Africa. It is transmitted to human from the rodent reservoir. The disease was first reported in 1969 in the locality of Lassa in Borno State, Nigeria.
  • Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria and is experiencing seasonal resurgence during the dry season (December to May). Ribavirin (antiviral) has been the recommended treatment since the 1980s, but its efficacy remains weakly evidenced.
  • Moreover, it has adverse effects and is costly for endemic countries. There is currently no vaccine available. Lassa fever is considered by WHO as a priority disease for urgent research and development.
  • ALIMA has been working in Owo since 2018 to support the Federal Medical Centre of Owo (FMCO) in case management (clinical care, laboratory, IPC measures, medical supplies…), especially during outbreaks.
  • The research platform CORAL, composed of ALIMA, INSERM (French national health research institute) and PACCI , has been conducting in partnership with FMCO and Nigerian Center for Disease Control several research projects in order to better understand the disease and find a better therapeutic alternative.
  • CORAL and its partner BNITM (BernarchNocht Institute for Tropical Medicine) is currently implementing in Owo a phase II clinical trial testing Favipiravir (an antiviral drug) as an alternative treatment to Ribavirin.

Countries where we work in 2021:

  • Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, South Sudan, Mauritania & Sudan.

The work we do covers:

  • Primary and Secondary Health Care, with a main focus on children and women – including treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition, maternal health, mental health, response to epidemics (Ebola, Cholera, Measles, Dengue, Lassa Fever), surgery, displaced populations, and gender based violence, Covid 19.

Governance:

  • ALIMA is governed by a Board of Directors of 10 elected positions and 4 co-opted positions from representatives of West African partner NGOs.

Management Lines:

  • Direct Line Manager: Project Coordinator
  • Technical Referent: Research team leaders, VHF laboratory head, the laboratory scientists
  • Collaborate with the medical team, the research team, the logistic team to run the lab properly.

Protection of Beneficiaries and Community Members

  • Level 3: As part of his or her duties, the incumbent will be required to visit the programs and be in contact with children and / or vulnerable adults. Therefore, the criminal record check or the presentation of a certificate of good moral character will be necessary.
  • In situations where it is impossible to provide a criminal record or a certificate of good moral character, a declaration of honour will be requested.

Mission and Main Activities
Manage the VHF laboratory team:

  • In coordination with the VHF lab head, the chosen candidate will supervise a team composed of laboratory scientists and technicians (6 persons or more) to organize the work, rosters, quality of work and be in charge of any necessary trainings
  • Ensure that the laboratory is operational 7 days a week during the peak season (to be adapted during the inter-epidemic period).

Routine activities of VHF lab (Haematology, Biochemistry, Serology and cross-matching analysis):

  • Be in charge of supervising standard biological analysis performed in the VHF lab and that all results are accurate, reliable and communicated to the medical team on time.
  • Ensure that good laboratory practices are applied and that bio-safety rules are respected.
  • Ensure the maintenance of the different analysers, according to the manufacturer recommendations.
  • Collaborate with research teams so that blood test results are included in the different research projects.
  • Collaborate with the logistic team regarding any new improvement for the laboratory (new equipment, power supply, …) and to make sure that all the lab items (PPE, reagents …) are ordered on time so that no shortage occurs.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with the different research teams and medical teams to ensure that samples are received by the laboratory and stored accordingly to the different research or medical needs.

Lassa RT-qPCR activity at FMC Owo:

  • To supervise the daily PCR runs and to ensure the quality of the results obtained.
  • Make sure that no shortage arises in the PCR reagents.
  • Ensure that PCR results are communicated as soon as possible to the Lassa ward.

Biobank:

  • Be in charge with the VHF lab head, of the Lassa biobank and of its cold chain monitoring to ensure the safety and integrity of the samples.
  • Be in charge of conducting administrative formalities towards competent regulatory bodies regarding biobank registration and material transfer agreements (MTA).

Laboratory-related research activities:

  • Ensure the research protocols are enforced regarding laboratory activities
  • Ensure Good Laboratory Practices are enforced and the SOPs linked to the protocols are strictly respected.
  • Communicate and collaborate with partner research organizations regarding the laboratory and the biobank
  • Report any malfunctions encountered and implement the necessary actions to ensure compliance with good practices, respecting priorities, in collaboration with partner research organisations. Report on laboratory activities at research coordination meetings

Other activities outside the VHF lab:

  • Participate in the organization and conduct of activities directed to FMC Owo general laboratory’s staff, in collaboration with the project coordinator (PC). This could include, among other topics, training to standard biosafety rules, good laboratory practices.

Job Requirements
Education:

  • At least a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology with qualification in Microbiology (Virology, Bacteriology, Parasitology or Mycology). Alternatively, several years of experience working in high containment laboratories (BSL-3 or BSL-4).

Experience:

  • Strong knowledge of PCR and PCR-related techniques and blood processing is necessary.
  • Working experiences in Ebola or Lassa Fever outbreak or other viral haemorrhagic fevers will be appreciated.
  • Desirable working experience with International medical NGO’s in developing countries.

Languages:

  • English Speaking, reading and writing, mandatory. French would be an asset.

Deadline: 12th April, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified canidates should send their CV (including references) and Cover Letter to: recruitment@nigeria.alima.ngo with the reference “Laboratory Manager” in the subject line.

Note

  • Female applications are strongly encouraged. We process applications as they are received.
  • If an application matches our search, the offer can therefore be closed early.
  • Report any violation of the policies, framework documents and procedures to a superior, to a referent or to: alert@alima.ngo

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