Laboratory Specialist (x1)

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Job Description

Project Background

The Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from the World Bank is implementing the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Regional Investment Financing Project (ACDCP) which aims to enhance Public Health Security capacity by supporting the establishment of infectious disease control systems on the African continent.

The Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union established to support public health initiatives of Member States and strengthen the capacity of their public health institutions to detect, prevent, control, and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats. To help Africa CDC and countries in the region cope with the burden of disease threats and outbreaks, the World Bank has provided funding to the Africa CDC headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) for strengthening vital institutional capacities to execute measurable public health functions through the Africa Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention Regional Investment Financing Project (ACDCP).

The overall Project Development Objective (PDO) is to support Africa CDC to strengthen continental and regional infectious disease detection and response systems.

Laboratory Specialist

a. Duty Station: Zambia National Public Health Institute PIU, Lusaka

b. Reports to: Project Coordinator – ACDCP

Objectives of the Assignment:

The Laboratory Specialist will primarily be responsible for implementation of the Laboratory aspects of the Project including contributing to the design and procurement of the equipment for the BSL 3 Laboratory to ensure adherence to set standards and quality. This requires working closely with the ZNPHI Laboratory Systems and Networks (LSN) cluster.

Technical Responsibilities:

  • conducting laboratory assessments, capacity building and strengthening of the laboratories;
  • supporting strategies to enhance diagnostic surveillance systems
  • support for improved and sustainable laboratory services both at the national and subnational levels with an emphasis of strengthening the role of the Public Health Reference laboratories for greater sustainability of laboratory services, including strategies for maintenance of QMS
  • Support hub system for specimen referral, testing, and result transmission
  • Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
  • biosafety and biosecurity
  • increased utilization of the National Health Laboratory standards and regulations; and ensuring effective national, regional, and local partnerships and collaborations with technical experts and other professionals

Main Duties/key Responsibilities:

  • This position is suitable for an experienced laboratory scientist with public health experience. The Laboratory Specialist will work very closely with the ZNPHI Director of LSN and his team. The Laboratory Specialist is expected to develop collaborative relationships with other project staff, interact with internal and external clients and partners. The laboratory specialist will provide technical assistance, quality assessment and capacity building services to ensure and enhance the quality of laboratory services associated with the Project.

Specifically, the key responsibilities are:

  • Work closely with the ZNPHI Laboratory System Network Cluster in achieving the goals of establishing a functional One Health public health laboratory system and network for Zambia, particularly the design, equipping and operationalization of the national BSL-3 laboratory facility to be constructed under the ACDCP.
  • Participate in and provide technical input in the design and construction of the BSL1, BSL2 and BSL3 Laboratory.
  • Advise ZNPHI/MOH on the type and specification of Laboratory equipment to be procured for the Laboratories to be constructed under the project.
  • Support the development of equipment maintenance and calibration plan for the BSL1,
  • BSL2, BSL3 laboratory.
  • Support the implementation of good laboratory practices and biosafety & biosecurity standards.
  • Support to build laboratory network and foster collaboration between the Regional Centre of Excellence (BSL 3) and other National and regional Public Health Laboratories.
  • Support to establish a sample referral system and feedback mechanism between the Regional Centre of Excellence (BSL 3) and other National Public Health Laboratories
  • Support expansion of sentinel surveillance sites for AMR and human and animal diseases.
  • Contribute to the development of research agenda for priority pathogens including result dissemination and scientific publications
  • Contribute to development of BSL3 laboratory standard operating procedures and other management documents compliant with national and international quality and governance standards.
  • Support the development of management processes such as supply chain monitoring plan for the BSl-3laboratory.
  • Participating in activities relevant to laboratory committees, working groups and other expert groups as required
  • Participate in developing and monitoring of annual work plans and budgets and execute the work-plan and budget using team effort.
  • Support the development of training plan and participate/ facilitate in trainings for laboratory staff that include test methods, QMS (including mentorship towards accreditation), biosafety & biosecurity, laboratory management and others.
  • Conduct assessment of needs for expansion of laboratory testing profiles and placement of new equipment and support operationalization of satellite ZNPHI laboratory sites and public health laboratory network laboratories.
  • Support laboratories in data management and data sharing.
  • Support the implementation of laboratory-based sentinel surveillance activities and ensure timely laboratory communication of results of notifiable disease from sub national to national level and within the national public health laboratory network.
  • Support the implementation of laboratory activities in the AMR national action plan.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Contract Duration:

  • This is a full-time position. The service is initially for a period of 2 years, subject to extension based
  • on satisfactory performance, for the duration of the Project.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences or biological sciences or other related
  • biomedical sciences discipline is required.
  • Postgraduate qualification in a Science field, Public Health field, or any relevant equivalent
  • subject preferred
  • At least five-year work experience at senior level managing public health laboratories and/or
  • laboratory programs under donor funded projects.
  • Experience of working with high pathogens risk and biosafety level 3 or 4 laboratories will be
  • an added advantage
  • Experience in supporting the design, construction and equipping of a laboratory will be an
  • added advantage
  • Experience in implementing quality management systems and laboratory quality control
  • (including external quality assurance program)
  • Familiarity with international biosafety and biosecurity regulations.
  • In-depth understanding of relevant laboratory policies, standards, and guidelines.
  • Experience of participation in research and publications
  • Experience in organize and facilitate training/ workshop for health professionals Excellent
  • communication skills (both written and oral) in English Proficiency in use of general computing
  • applications such as MS Excel, Word, Power point Member of relevant professional body is an added advantage.

Demonstrable Skills and Competencies:

  • A team player with strong interpersonal communication skills, relationship building and
  • networking skills
  • Strong analytical skills with an ability to evaluate and propose strategic options;
  • Ability to multi-task (prioritize, organize, schedule work)
  • Ability to think critically and strategically in difficult conditions to diplomatically challenge the
  • status quo and encourage shared ownership of outcomes
  • Commitment to ensuring that knowledge transfer and capacity building is central in the work;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.

Method of Application

Interested candidates should obtain detailed Terms of Reference from this link: and further information from address below during office hours i.e. 08.00 to 13.00 hours and 14.00 hours to 17.00 hours.

Application letters addressed to the Permanent Secretary (Administration), Ministry of Health, should include certified copies of academic / professional certificates and detailed Curriculum Vitae with three traceable references. Applications must be submitted in hard copy to the address below or deposited in the Tender Box at the Ministry of Health, Ndeke House, Haile Selassie Road, ground floor of Ndeke House by or before 27th May 2022 before 10:30 hours local time. Envelopes

should clearly “indicate the position applied for” under the Africa CDC Regional Investment Financing Project (167916). If submitted in electronic copies, they must be submitted to the email addresses indicated below by the above stated time and date. The email subject line should clearly “indicate the position applied for”

Chief Procurement and Supplies Officer,

For/Permanent Secretary,

Ministry of Health,

P.O Box 30205,

Lusaka – Zambia,

Tel: +260 211 253040/5


Application deadline
27 May 09:00