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Job Description

Introduction

The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome (MLW) Programme (http://www.mlw.mw) is an internationally recognized centre for research and research training, funded by the Wellcome Trust. In collaboration with the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), MLW would like to engage the services of a competent and dynamic individual to work in an exciting Research Programme at the MLW Research facility as it is expanding.

The PneumoCocoon study will investigate the importance of children less than 5 years old in the transmission of the Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus to young babies living within the same household. In the context of a rigorous clinical trial and using innovative technologies, this study will test whether a booster dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) given to children 1-5 years old reduces transmission of the pneumococcus and therefore protects babies living within the same household (cocooning).

Laboratory technician (PneumoCocoon) – 1 post, based in Blantyre (initial 12 months contract with the possibility of renewal)

Brief Description of the Project
Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is a bacterium that lives harmlessly at the back of the nose but also causes serious infections, mostly in young children. In Africa, newborn babies are often exposed to the pneumococcus before they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves.

The PneumoCocoon study will investigate the importance of children less than 5 years old in the transmission of the pneumococcus to young babies living within the same household.

In the context of a rigorous clinical trial and using innovative technologies, this study will test whether a booster dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) given to children 1-5 years old reduces transmission of the pneumococcus and therefore protects babies living within the same household (cocooning). Study Participants include mothers, infants and children 1-5 years old.

Job Summary
The laboratory technician will contribute to the PneumoCocoon study that aims to determine the role of children less than 5 years old in the transmission of the pneumococcus to young babies living within the same household.

The Laboratory technician carries out the MLW and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences study laboratory tests as appropriate, which will include, but may not be limited to:

. receiving and booking in specimens, preparing specimens for testing and storage, documentation and record keeping.
• The post holder will be required to work some unsocial hours; this will be repaid by time off in lieu rather than overtime.
• The post holder will be a registered member of the Medical Council of Malawi and act in a professional manner at all times in accordance with their rules and guidelines.

Reporting to the Principal Investigator, the Laboratory technician will carry out the study laboratory tests as appropriate, which will include, but may not be limited to: receiving and booking in specimens, preparing specimens for testing and storage, documentation and record keeping.

 

Responsibilities

Responsibilities
• To process environmental, respiratory and blood samples that are collected as part of the PneumoCocoon study. They will be expected to process them in a careful and timely manner in accordance with the SOPs and to alert the team if samples are missing.
• To perform bacteriologic culture of respiratory and other clinical specimens carefully following standard operating procedures.
• To perform and interpret the results of biochemical and serological testing of bacteria isolated from clinical specimens.
• To perform and interpret the results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing on bacterial isolated from clinical specimens.
• To perform molecular detection and typing of respiratory pathogens.
• To purify nucleic acids directly clinical specimens or bacterial isolates.
• To carry out sample processing and testing in accordance with research protocols (SOPs) as set out either by the Head of Department or Principal Investigator (PI).
• To be aware of – and work using – the Quality Control protocols, both internal and external where appropriate set by the head of Department or PI.
• To keep both paper and electronic records where appropriate.
• To monitor and maintain laboratory equipment at regular intervals according to set SOPs as appropriate.
• To check stocks and report stock levels to the appropriate member of staff.
• To carry out any other duty deemed to be reasonable as assigned by the line manager.

Laboratory technician (PneumoCocoon) – 1 post, based in Blantyre (initial 12 months contract with the possibility of renewal)

• To process environmental, respiratory and blood samples that are collected as part of the PneumoCocoon study. They will be expected to process them in a careful and timely manner in accordance with the SOPs and to alert the team if samples are missing.
• To perform bacteriologic culture of respiratory and other clinical specimens carefully following standard operating procedures.
• To perform and interpret the results of biochemical and serological testing of bacteria isolated from clinical specimens.
• To perform and interpret the results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing on bacterial isolated from clinical specimens.
• To perform molecular detection and typing of respiratory pathogens.
• To purify nucleic acids directly clinical specimens or bacterial isolates.
• To prepare samples for storage in the -20/-80°C freezers as appropriate and for transfer overseas for further processing (primarily genomics).
• To liaise closely with the core lab, as some of the samples (blood cultures primarily) will be derived from core laboratory specimens.

Training
• To assist in the training of new staff as appropriate.

Health & Safety
• To observe and follow the Health and Safety Guidelines at all times.
• To ensure that all areas of the laboratory section are kept clean and tidy by implementing a routine cleaning and disinfection schedule as per instructed
• To attend at least once a year, the quarterly scheduled Health and Safety sensitizations
• To immediately notify the Line Manager of all Accidents, and potential hazards

Error of Judgment: failure to abide by the Health & Safety protocols and putting one-self, colleagues and Study participants at risk and failure to attend 1 Health &Safety session a year, will lead to disciplinary action.

All staff are employed under the MLW Programme and are ultimately responsible to the Programme whether directly employed under the Core Grant, a Research Fellowship or project grant. All staff are expected to be flexible and may be required to contribute to the activities of the Core Programme or another project(s).

 

 

Requirements

Qualifications and Experience
• Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology or equivalent degree which is recognized by the Medical Council of Malawi
• Registered member of Medical Council of Malawi
• 2 years’ work experience

Personal Specifications

• Excellent IT skills
• Good presentation skills, as well as strong verbal and written communication skills
• Good report writing skills
• Good clinical practice skills
• Able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people
• Efficient and well organised, with excellent attention to detail
• Enthusiastic and able to work under pressure and to deadlines

For more detailed information of the job, please visit the MLW website, www.mlw.mw .

Remuneration and Benefits
MLW offers an attractive remuneration package which includes a competitive salary package commensurate with the position, a medical aid scheme, 24 hours insurance cover, pension scheme, gratuity benefits redeemable once every year, among others.

MLW also offers opportunities such as scholarships, upgrading and training opportunities to employees. These are based on successful job performance and other set criteria.

MLW recognizes its responsibility in safeguarding and protecting communities, research participants and patients. Please note that successful candidates will be requested to undergo a safeguarding check prior to appointment and at regular time points during employment.

Suitably qualified candidates should forward their applications with copies of relevant certificates, 3 contactable referees and a detailed CV to this email vacancies@mlw.mw

To arrive no later than the 30thJune, 2022, only short-listed candidates will be acknowledged.

Posted on Jun 20, 2022