Pathologists & Histotechnologists

Our cervical cancer project in Malawi is seeking pathologists and histotechnologists to work inside the pathology laboratory

Context

Malawi has the highest cervical cancer incidence and mortality rate in the world. Eastern and Southern Africa, including Malawi, also has one of the highest HIV prevalence, which contributes significantly to the cancer incidence, as HIV positive women are significantly more likely to develop cervical cancer when infected with HPV.

MSF, in response to this need, is implementing a unique comprehensive oncology project in Malawi. The project aims to encompass all components of gynecologic oncology care (mostly cervical cancers) from primary to tertiary prevention through the collaborative work of a multidisciplinary medical team embedded at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and community health centers in the Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts in Malawi.

The project is seeking Pathologists and a Histotechnologists to work inside the pathology laboratory in QECH to assist the hospital in providing and improving the pathology-related services. Therefore, the diagnostic reading will not only be for gynecological cancers, but all histopathological samples.

Each position is an ideal opportunity for either a physician or lab technologist with special interest in building human resources capacity in resource-limited contexts, offering mentorship and capacity-building of cancer care providers and technologists in Malawi and engaging in challenging experiences in project management and leadership. As the project is still new in its implementation phase, much flexibility, patience, and diligence will be required. Candidates must be willing to step out of their comfort zone, take initiative, and be a proactive and cooperative member of the project team, as they may be asked to engage in administrative, managerial, and teaching tasks in addition to their regular work.

Responsibilities

PATHOLOGISTS

Under the supervision of the Project Medical Referent, the Pathologist will be required to perform the following main activities:

  • Clinical Activities
    • Oversee the quality of the pathology services at QECH
    • Provide timely and accurate diagnostic pathology services by releasing pathology reports and expert clinical feedback to the medical team time according to the needs of QECH laboratory include cytology, biopsy, surgical, and other biological specimens in a timely manner
    • Participate in the multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings with other specialists, ensure that oncology care respects the international clinical guidelines and patients’ interest as best as possible taking in account the resources and context
    • Standardize all pathological reports according to international recommendations
    • Supervise the  MSF Laboratory Manager in the day-to-day management of the histopathology orders, stock management, SOP development as well as ensuring the safety environment by reducing biohazard risks and improving infection control
    • Give technical guidance to the medical and logistical team in the collection, preparation, and transportation of the pathological samples
  • Teaching
    • Provide teaching to medical students, interns and registrars and train the technicians in proper sample handing and preparation procedures.
    • In partnership with the College of Medicine, Ministry of Health and external partners, explore the possibility of starting a specialist program in Malawi.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation / Operational Research
    • Participate in the collection and analysis of epidemiological data, checking its validity and informing the line manager about any problem or complication of the patients’ illness, medical error and monitors the proper functioning of the department, equipment or material
    • Participate in the development of project strategy, budget planning, and monitoring and evaluation (reporting) of related medical activities.
    • Work with the MFP and the coordination in networking with the professional medical societies both locally and internationally. Participate in high-level meetings regarding pathology when requested by the mission
    • Build an ambitious operational research agenda with the support of external academic partners and Epicentre.

HISTOTECHNOLOGISTS

The Histotechnologist contributes to defining, implementing and monitoring all laboratory activities in the project area including management of relevant staff in order to ensure the quality of the laboratory work. This includes :

  • Participating in the definition and update of the laboratory activities, including its budget, and assisting in the medical diagnosis and the treatment of diseases of the patients. Oversee laboratory activities.
  • Performing quality control tests and analysis, ensuring the compliance to the basic plans of the laboratory and that all tests are done correctly and according to prescriptions.
  • Ensuring that the hygiene and safety protocols both for individual as well as for collective protection (i.e. required clothes and equipment, hygiene and universal precautions, etc.) are implemented in laboratories and  that the cleaning personnel is informed about biohazards.
  • Ensuring proper registration and records of all lab related activities, implementing a correct use of the associated management in order to have proper records of laboratory activities. Preparing and sending slides/samples for external quality control if applicable.
  • Ensuring confidentiality of all patients’ laboratory results at any time, according to protocols in place.
  • In coordination with the project biomedical service supervising the appropriate use of medical devices under his/her responsibility so they can be used at any time (e.g. correct automatic instrument calibrations and correct and updated inventories of laboratory material and equipment) anticipating and communicating future needs.
  • Planning and supervising, in close coordination with the HR department, the associated processes (recruitment, training, performance evaluation, development and internal/external communication) of the laboratory staff of the project in order to improve staff capabilities and to ensure both the sizing and the amount of knowledge required.
  • Provide technical support to field and coordination team for laboratory strategies.
  • Compiling, analyzing and reporting on lab activities and results to the medical staff and the immediate supervisor providing data on complications, the total number and types of tests and in general, any problem with the staff and / or laboratory material and ensure the confidentiality of all patients' test results at all times in accordance with the protocols in place Also participating in the development of epidemiological reports relating to MSF health services.
  • Check and maintain equipment under his responsibility to ensure continued availability, ensure correct calibration of automatic instruments; ensure the correct execution of the equipment inventory of the laboratory to avoid stock-outs; ensure the existence and updating of inventories of all equipment and equipment used.
  • Be responsible for performance, maintenance, condition, quality control and record keeping of all instruments within assigned areas of the laboratory.  Ensure all equipment malfunctions are investigated, reported and repaired accordingly.

Specific Accountabilities (Histotechnologists)

  • Write/check and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for histopathological analysis.
  • Implement good sample flow from OT to lab.
  • Ensure Good Laboratory Practices and use of Quality Control.
  • Implement adequate measures for laboratory waste management procedures.
  • Ensure that all tests are performed appropriately.
  • Train and develop MSF staff in the following:
    • Use of automated equipment and instruments including microscopes, microtomes and other lab equipment.
    • Receive and record specimen/tissues from procedures, operating room, diagnostic procedures and/or from autopsy.
    • Examine/study slides under microscope to detect deviations from norm and report abnormalities which may require further study.
    • Fix, dehydrate, and infiltrate with wax tissue specimens to be preserved for study by Pathologist.
    • Prepare media, chemicals, reagents and solutions.
  • Implement and maintain accurate documentation, including computerized documentation, in accordance with established policies, procedures and regulations.
  • Establish and monitor quality control programs.
  • Maintain inventory of supplies, material and equipment.
  • Maintain and clean equipment and instruments as per established procedures and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Provide training where necessary and ensure staff are competent in all aspects of histopathological analysis
  • In collaboration with the PharmaCo, manage the stock and assist with the IO for the project.
  • Send monthly reports to the laboratory advisor.

Requirements

PATHOLOGISTS

  • Commitment to work in the field for a minimum of 12 month assignment (renewable contract)
  • Completion of residency or specialized training in histopathology (essential)
  • Certification in (histo)pathology
  • Experience in teaching (histo)pathology (a major advantage)
  • Experience in resource limited settings (desirable, but not essential)
  • Ability to work and live with a diverse team
  • Fluency in English (mandatory)
  • Essential computer literacy (word, excel)
  • Commitment to MSF's principles
  • Competencies:
    • Strategic Vision
    • Leadership
    • People Management and Development
    • Teamwork and Cooperation

HISTOTECHNOLOGISTS

  • Commitment to work in the field for a minimum of 12 month assignment (renewable contract)
  • Laboratory technician diploma with specialization and training in histopathology (essential)
  • Certification as Histotechnologist (essential)
  • Experience in managing and training staff in pathology laboratory (a major advantage)
  • Experience in resource limited settings (desirable, but not essential)
  • Ability to work and live with a diverse team
  • Fluency in English (mandatory)
  • Essential computer literacy (word, excel, internet)
  • Competencies:
    • People Management and Development
    • Commitment to MSF Principles
    • Behavioral Flexibility
    • Result and Quality Orientation
    • Teamwork and Cooperation

How to apply

Please submit your CV and cover letter to: rogier.van.helmond@newyork.msf.org

Please note that: Only selected candidates will be contacted