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Friday, 27 May 2022

New Job Opportunity at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Tanzania - Consultant

  AjiraLeo Tanzania       Friday, 27 May 2022
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AJIRA LEO
Management Sciences for Health
Recruitment of consultant(s) to support Covid-19 vaccines pharmacovigilance activities
locations Tanzania-Dar es Salaam
time type Part time
job requisition id R2060
Background
Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) Program aims to enable low-and middle-income countries to strengthen their pharmaceutical systems to ensure sustainable access to and appropriate use of safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable essential medicines and medicine-related pharmaceutical services.The goal of the global five-year (2018–2023) program is to enable low-and middle-income countries to strengthen their pharmaceutical systems to ensure sustainable access to and appropriate use of safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable essential medicines and medicine-related pharmaceutical services. To achieve this goal, among the objectives of the MTAPS program is to:improve pharmaceutical services, including product availability and patient-centered care to achieve desired health outcomes.

As part of this goal, USAID MTaPS is currently supporting ministries of health in several countries to implement national COVID-19 vaccination programs. Potential elements of MTaPS assistance have been specified in USAID’s Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Country Readiness and Delivery guidance for implementing partners and may include policy, planning, and coordination; pharmacovigilance and monitoring adverse events; supply chain and logistics; vaccine service delivery; human resources for health, training,and supervision; communication and advocacy; community engagement and demand; monitoring, evaluation, and health information systems.

In countries that have introduced multiple -WHO-endorsed and other vaccines,technical support is further regulated by USAID’s Programming Considerations for Technical Assistance Relating to Non-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines (March, 2021) and the impact is assessed using USAID’s COVID-19 Saving Lives Now and Global Vaccine Access Initiative Indicators (May 2022).Tanzania is accelerating COVID-19 vaccination. Nearly 6% of the population have completed the initial vaccination protocol with more than 8.3 million doses
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Consultant Statement of Work
Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm, Sinovac, J&J, and Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in the country. COVID-19 adverse effects following immunization (AEFI) reporting is integrated in the existing pharmacovigilance (PV) system governed and managed by the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA)at the central level and eight (8) PV centers at the zonal level as specified in more detail in the Tanzania Pharmacovigilance Regulations (2018). Reporting and AEFI investigation procedures are specified in the National AEFI Guidelines (updated in 2021). Health facilities report adverse events using both paper and electronic means (TMDA website, USSD protocol for regular cell phones and an android app), which are aggregated and analyzed at the zonal level. Serious cases are investigated by a national level committee. At the TMDA level, the information is entered into the WHO database of adverse events (Vigibase) to comply with international requirements. COVID-19 vaccination directly supports MOHCDGEC's National COVID-19 Response Plan (2021) to reduce health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Initial training in COVID-19 AEFI detection and management was provided by WHO in Kibaha in March2022. WHO is also leading the design and production of AEFI information, education, and communication (IEC)materials (posters, brochures, banners, TV and radio spots). Other key partners include Africa CDC and AMREF that were engaged in the introduction of the J&J vaccine in Tanzania with active monitoring of adverse events.

The purpose of this scope of work (SoW) is to hire COVID-19 vaccine consultant(s) (thereafter referred to as Technical Advisors) to work with MTaPS to provide immediate in-country technical assistance to the TMDA inCOVID-19 pharmacovigilance (PV) as the country moves forward with expanding COVID-19 vaccination. Other key stakeholders in this space include the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).Working under the guidance of the Country Project Director (CPD) and in collaboration with the MTaPS head office team and colleagues in the country (field) office, the Technical Advisor will provide direct technical assistance to the TMDA and other country partners and stakeholders for the design and implementation of country interventions related to COVID-19 vaccine introduction, specifically in the technical area of Vaccine Pharmacovigilance and Monitoring Adverse Events, including rapid situational analysis; supporting coordination mechanisms; development/adaptation of guiding and training materials, tools and systems; delivery of training to health care workers and national experts; post-training technical assistance and supervision, including compliance with reporting requirements.

Consultant qualification requirements:

This work will ideally require a medical doctor or other clinical practitioner, with expertise in immunization, introduction of new vaccines, and Vaccine Pharmacovigilance (PV) and skilled in capacity building of healthcare practitioners, national-and regional level policymakers and technical specialists.
  • Degree or diploma in a clinical field, field epidemiology, global health, or a related field. Medical or Pharmacy degree highly preferred.
  • At least 5-7 years of experience developing or implementing Pharmacovigilance systems. Experience with implementation of national immunization programs, and Vaccine Pharmacovigilance is a plus.
  • Deep understanding of the Tanzania healthcare system
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Consultant Statement of Work
  • Demonstrated experience developing national guidelines, training materials, and/or SOPs in vaccine Pharmacovigilance, immunization, or related fields
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing capacity building and training activities for healthcare practitioners
  • Proficiency using electronic surveillance tools and platforms
  • Experience with international health programs, particularly immunization programs, is preferred
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skillsBasic competency in Microsoft Office Suite applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills, ability to generate lucid reports
  • Ability to produce quality content under tight deadlines Ability to travel domestically up to 30% of time
  • Fluency in writing, speaking, and reading the English and Swahili languages.

Supervision and reporting responsibility:
The consultant will be supervised by, and report to Edgar Lusaya,CPD, at MTaPS Tanzania. The consultant will liaise with Anton Luchytsky, Principal Technical Advisor, Infectious Diseases, other country team members, relevant MTaPS headquarters, and regional technical staff, and will work in collaboration with TMDA, the National Immunization Program staff of the MOHCDGEC, the country WHO office, and partners including USG partners implementing COVID-19 vaccine introduction activities.
Recommended: Description of Services to be provided
All activities in this SOW are specific to COVID-19 vaccines.In collaboration with the TMDA and the above partners, and to support the activities specified in the NVDP and the National AEFI Guidelines, the Consultant(s) will:The consultant will undertake the following activities:
  • Support TMDA in holding periodic (monthly) partner coordination meetings with relevant stakeholders such as the MOHCDGEC, WHO and AMREF by facilitating meetings and discussions as necessary to ensure ongoing coordination of Covid-19 vaccine pharmacovigilance activity, properly leverage prior investments by USG and partners and prevent duplication of effort.
  • Review/update/adapt or freshly develop training materials on COVID-19 Pharmacovigilance for training of trainers (ToT) and staff of Zonal PV Centers, that will be engaged in providing technical guidance and oversight to healthcare professionals engaged in COVID-19 vaccines PV throughout the country, leveraging applicable WHO materials. The training materials will primarily focus on identification, notification, reporting, investigation, analysis, and causality assessment of COVID-19 vaccination adverse events in accordance with the respective WHO guidance and will also cover other relevant topics such as data exchange mechanisms, partner coordination, awareness raising, and communication of vaccine safety data. Gender -related aspects (disaggregation by sex, pregnancy, and breastfeeding status) will be built in as well in accordance with respective WHO guidance. The Consultant will also facilitate appropriate in-country review and validation of the materials by relevant stakeholders including EPI,
  • Develop SOPs and job aids to enable Zonal PV centers to electronically capture all COVID-19 AEFIs in Vigibase in the format meeting international requirements. (VigiBase is WHO's global Individual Case Safety Report database maintained by the Uppsala Monitoring Center, Sweden that contains reports submitted by the participating member states enrolled under WHO’s international drug monitoring program).
  • Provide training of trainers and staff of Zonal PV Centers, that will be engaged in providing technical guidance and oversight to healthcare professionals engaged in COVID-19 vaccines pharmacovigilance throughout the country, using the developed training materials specified in point 2 above.
  • Support dissemination of awareness and COVID-19 vaccine safety materials(being developed by the WHO), as well as materials promoting timely AEFI reporting throughout the country using healthcare system channels and mass media (e.g., radio and TV stations). Plans to be further detailed when the WHO materials are ready.
  • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), checklists, and reporting templates for supportive supervision of participating health facilities by TMDA's central and zonal staff. The materials will be aligned with the national guidelines and training materials on COVID-19 pharmacovigilance and will cover identification, notification, reporting, investigation of COVID-19 vaccination adverse events, awareness raising, and communication of vaccine safety data, among other topics.
  • Deliver a training/orientation on the related procedures to the staff of eight (8) zonal PV centers.
  • Provide technical guidance and support to TMDA central and regional staff engaged in COVID-19 vaccines supportive supervision efforts to ensure rapid operationalization of the system, documentation of progress, any systemic bottlenecks, and development of technical solutions to overcome them; and to secure accurate, prompt and timely COVID-19 AEFI reporting by all participating health facilities in Tanzania, and their ultimate review, investigation, and causality assessment by higher level PV committees and the zonal and central levels.

Deliverables
  • Coordination meeting summaries
  • Training materials on Covid-19 vaccines pharmacovigilance
  • SOPs for the use of Vigiflow electronic PV reporting forms
  • Training of Zonal PV trainers and staff in Covid-19 PV report
  • COVID-19 vaccine awareness and vaccine safety materials dissemination report
  • COVID-19 vaccine PV supportive supervision tool
  • Training of Zonal PV staff on supportive supervision report
  • Supportive supervision report(s)

MSH is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, religion, creed, citizenship, national origin, age, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job requirements. MSH will take affirmative action to ensure that qualified applicants are employed and that employees are treated without regard to their race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran and disability status.
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In compliance with U.S. Department of Labor Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act, MSH has developed and maintains an affirmative action program and plan.

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