15 Oct 2020

Senior Program Officer, Research and Innovations at PATH

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PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. With expertise in science, health, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales solutions—including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide.


In Uganda, PATH implements various project and we are looking for a full time Senior Program officer to support the implementation of three projects; namely a) Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) Project, b) Hilton chlorine generator project, c)  Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) , and d) Low-field MR for Infant Cerebral Imaging Project. These projects are funded by different donors with different timeliness. The position will receive tremendous support from our global and local PATH teams, and the candidate will support each of the projects in almost equal proportions. Below are the detailed activities for each of the projects.


1. Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC)

As a core partner of the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), PATH supports countries with decision-making, planning, and preparations for typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) introduction. The TyVAC project aims to accelerate the introduction of new typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) as part of an integrated approach to reduce the burden of typhoid in countries eligible for support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) is a partnership between the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, and PATH, an international nonprofit organization.


TyVAC employs a multidisciplinary approach, working with global and local partners to accelerate the introduction of TCVs in low-income countries and facilitate access to typhoid vaccines as part of an integrated prevention plan that also includes improved water, sanitation, and hygiene. We work to ensure that typhoid prevention and control are global health priorities, and that stakeholders and decision-makers have the data and tools they need to make evidence-based decisions for TCV introduction.


Roles and responsibilities

  • Facilitate and lead discussions with Ministry of Health related to their interest and potential of introducing (Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) in Uganda
  • Facilitate and lead the collation of data and assessment related to establishment of typhoid burden in Uganda
  • Provide technical support to the MOH with decision-making related to the introduction of TCV
  • Provide technical support with the Gavi application for TCV if Uganda decides to introduce TCV
  • Provide technical support with introduction of TCV if Uganda receives the TCV new vaccine grant from Gavi


2. Hilton chlorine generator project

PATH Uganda Country Programme is currently implementing the Hilton Chlorination project focusing on Infection control in health facilities. The PATH Uganda Program has supported the validation of a chlorine generator in healthcare facilities across the western, central, and eastern regions. Seeking to build on the positive acceptability, technical performance, and cost savings potential of the device, PATH is launching a 3-year project that aims to introduce and scale the use of chlorine generators in healthcare facilities in Uganda.


Roles and responsibilities

  • Manage the preparation and launch of a virtual chlorine generator dissemination meeting, including:
  • Supporting the agenda and design of the meeting
  • Engaging and ensuring participation of key and critical MOH, district health, and other stakeholders
  • Supporting the facilitation of the meeting and meeting follow-up as needed
  • Manage the preparation and launch of a chlorine generator evaluation across 10 healthcare facilities in Western and Central regions of Uganda, including:
  • Conduct introductory visits to all healthcare facilities and district health offices
  • Oversee the installation, training, and baseline data collection in all study sites
  • Contribute to the development of study tools
  • Monitor data collection and data quality, procurement of supplies, and device issues
  • Provide interim updates as appropriate to key MOH, district health, and other key stakeholders
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with key Ministry of Health, district health, and international development stakeholders
  • Participate in regular project team calls


3. Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS)

The Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) activity is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project, awarded in May 2018 to ICF Inc. and PATH is one of the sub-partners. It is a global award designed to support USAID’s tuberculosis (TB), Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), and Emerging Pandemic Threat strategies and portfolios, while encouraging integration or coordination across public health disease responses and between the human and animal health sectors where appropriate.


IDDS is implementing USAID, U.S. Government and global initiatives and strategies aimed to reduce global health threats posed by infectious diseases, including TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), focusing on strengthening of disease detection networks and surveillance systems in order to:

  • Improve the detection of diseases of public health importance and identification of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in priority infectious diseases through an accessible, accurate, adaptable, timely and integrated diagnostic network system; and
  • Improve the quality of real-time surveillance systems for pathogens of greatest risk to public health, including AMR and zoonotic diseases.


Roles and responsibilities will include:

  • Facilitation
    • Support IDDS team lead in working with key stakeholders across human and animal health in Uganda
    • Provide facilitation support at high level technical meetings with senior government officials
    • Support team to liaise with critical stakeholders including USAID, MOH, MAAIF, CDC, WHO, and other national partners
  • Operations
    • Support planning and organization of IDDS project activities in line with national guidelines and standards
  • Technical
    • Provide senior technical review to technical documents produced under the IDDS project
    • Provide technical expertise to IDDS technical areas as needed (diagnostics, surveillance, infectious disease, zoonotic disease, and/or animal health)


4. Low-field MR for Infant Cerebral Imaging.

Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess early brain development in neonates and infants less than two years of age is critical to better understand how to optimize nutrition and growth during this formative time, in addition to diagnosis and management of birth asphyxia, sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis and other neurologic diseases.


However, MRI is typically not widely available nor accessible in LMICs. The Gates Foundation has committed investments to a consortium of partners to explore the application of low field MRI in LMICs and has identified the Hyperfine Research system for a feasibility assessment in 10 LMIC sites. The Hyperfine system is a low cost, portable, low field point of care MRI technology that does not require a shielded room. https://hyperfine.io/


PATH, collaborating closely with Consortium Partners (Hyperfine Research, Flexport, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kings College in the UK), will support the local principal investigators (PIs) at Makerere University in the delivery and use of a low-cost, low-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system developed by Hyperfine Research.


The overall goal of the research is to determine the feasibility of obtaining high-quality neuroimaging that provides useful anatomic and functional brain data in healthy neonates and infants 0-2 years old.  Specifically, the focus is on supporting local PIs in gaining required in-country ethical and regulatory approvals, for the use of the Hyperfine investigational device at the selected site.


Roles and responsibilities will include:

The Senior Program officer will work closely with the PATH team to support project operations and coordination of the delivery and use of the MR imaging devices at the research study site in Kampala, Uganda. Specifically, the staff will work closely with the PATH team as the project point person to manage the relationship with the local PIs and the local logistics contacts to ensure ethical and regulatory approvals are obtained for the importation and research use of the MR device, training materials are context appropriate, and challenges are identified and communicated to the PATH team in a timely manner.


Working closely through frequent communications with the PATH headquarters project team, and the PATH Uganda country team, the staff will track progress against the project work plan, ensuring timelines are followed and assisting with troubleshooting and risk management.


Description of Activities:

  • Managing the project timeline, overseeing, and documenting all aspects of project activities in Uganda.
  • Engaging with local PI partners to understand the ongoing study, identify ethical and regulatory approvals needed, and work closely with the PIs to ensure these approvals are obtained.
  • Reviewing existing training materials developed by the manufacturer, Hyperfine Research.
  • Discussing revisions needed to the materials (modifications to illustrations, to language used, to level of reading) and work with HR and the PIs to ensure that the training materials are context appropriate.
  • Working closely with Hyperfine Research and Flexport to plan and facilitate all logistics for the importation, delivery, installation, maintenance and disposition of the device.
  • Monitoring study progress, identifying delays, and addressing any issues with PIs and logistics partners.
  • Summarizing the project activities in weekly communication emails or calls, with the PATH team.
  • Providing local context and background to PATH, including gathering documents and understanding of national and subnational guidelines, practices, and current research on neonatal MRI.

Required Experience

  • A graduate with training in medical sciences plus a Master’s in Public Health or related field.
  • Eight years professional experience in health systems strengthening especially in developing countries.
  • Strong familiarity with the Ugandan health system and its functionality.
  • Demonstrated excellence in facilitating strong working relationships and coordinating, liaising, and communicating with diverse project partners.
  • Demonstrated experience with research including ethical and local research approval processes.
  • Good understanding of regulations involving pediatric clinical research, medical device regulations, and approval processes.
  • Passion about health technologies and innovations
  • Strong skills in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with government ministries and the ability to foster and maintain good working relationships with senior officials.
  • Strong team player, bringing the teams together for debriefings and providing feedback and work performance
  • Demonstrated experience managing timelines and project workplans for clinical research trials.
  • Demonstrated competence in negotiation and communication.
  • Proven expertise in delivering technical presentations preferred.
  • Proven ability to multitask and manage diverse and remote workforce.
  • Experience in zoonotic diseases is an added advantage


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Method of Application

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Closing Date : 14 Nov, 2020


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