MSF is increasingly confronted with antibiotic resistance (ABR) in many of our projects, and in order to ensure quality medical care for patients MSF has committed to addressing ABR with a three-pillar approach: Infection Prevention & Control (IPC), Antibiotic Stewardship (AS), and microbiology diagnostic tools and ABR surveillance.
The role of the microbiology adviser is to engage in the third pillar, in order to improve MSF’s capacity to provide quality medical care by effectively diagnosing and treating bacterial infections, including addressing drug resistant bacterial infections. This will be done through three main activities: (i) direct support to the field (assessments of microbiology lab, implementation of diagnostics, field visits, technical advices etc.), (ii) training of laboratory and medical staff according to defined policies and protocols, and (iii) support operational research. The microbiologist will engage actively in a interdisciplinary group which includes the IPC and AS specialists (among others) in the development of policies and protocols that will support the ABR activities within the projects.
Place in the organisation
The Microbiology Advisor reports to the Coordinator of Laboratory Specialist, Public Health Department. The advisor works in close collaboration with the laboratory specialists and colleagues supporting the implementation of antimicrobial resistance activities in OCA projects.
Objectives of the position
The objective is to provide support and impetus to strategic planning and implementation of microbiology capacity, in order to further improve MSF’s capacity to provide quality medical care by effectively diagnosing and treating bacterial infections, including addressing drug resistant bacterial infections.
The focus for microbiology will be on the identification for new diagnostic tools for bacterial infection and antimicrobial sensitivity testing, the implementation of diagnostic capacities and antimicrobial surveillance system on the field.
The microbiology advisor will work closely with the IPC and AS teams, epidemiologist and the AMR lead strategist to support the development, planning and implementation of the ABR diagnostic and surveillance activities within OCA in the field. These will aim to reduce morbidity and mortality due to antibiotic resistance (ABR) for key MSF populations.
The adviser will be part of the microbiology subgroup of the MSF laboratory working group, the MSF antibiotic resistance task force and the internal OCA AMR Committee.
Lead on specialist support for MSF-OCA microbiology laboratory diagnostic activities;
Ensure innovative, high-quality microbiology diagnostic services through the provision of quality materials, adequate infrastructure and well-trained staff;
Provide expert advice and technical support to colleagues in the PHD and staff in other departments on inter-disciplinary issues;
Provide expert advice and technical support to medical coordinators, lab scientists and national laboratory supervisors during field visits;
Drive and support the operational research agenda on bacteriology in collaboration with the ABR Infectious Disease specialist and the AMR lead strategist, and disseminate the experience, including advocacy based on identified needs;
Proactively liaise with a professional network to keep abreast of international developments, which will guide future innovation in the diagnostic strategy;
With the MSF International Laboratory Microbiology Working Group, define norms, standards and quality controls mechanisms for microbiology laboratories in the projects;
Oversee and collaborate with the IPC and AS teams in the development and deployment of protocols, guidelines, tools and procedures to the field;
Support the Human Resources department on the organization of field positions for the management of microbiology activities;
Support de procurement department on selection of appropriate laboratory supplies, including liaising with the Mini Lab project and other initiatives within the movement;
Perform external microbiology laboratory assessments in order to validate laboratories for referral for MSF samples;
Identify training needs, support development and implementation of trainings with the MSF;
AMR Taskforce, and the AMR training developed in collaboration with BSAC.
At least 3 years' relevant experience in clinical bacteriology services and preferably in hospital setting and in low resources setting;
Minimum 2 years clinical microbiology field experience in developing countries, preferably with MSF;
Masters in clinical microbiology, clinical micro-MD, biologist or related fields;
Our working language is English so fluency in English is essential;
Willingness and ability to spend up to 50% of the time in field vists and the remaining time in Amsterdam office. Duration of one field presence can vary between 2 weeks up to 4 months to support implementation of a microbiology lab;
Flexibility is crucial! If you are the flexible medical professional, we very much welcome your application;
Good analytical skills are crucial;
Nice to have
Diploma in Tropical diseases
MSF and/or INGO experience is highly desirable
Proficiency in French and/or Arabic
A challenging and exciting position in an international and diverse environment.
A Dutch employment contract based on 40 hours per week. The contract is for one year with renewal option (subject to satisfactory performance).
A gross monthly salary in grade 7 between €3,488 and €4,980 depending on relevant professional working experience and based on a full-time appointment.
Other benefits include 30 holidays based on a full-time appointment and a premium-free pension plan.