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Tuberculosis Operational Research Consultant, Global Health

Location:
Vefa Center, 37/1 Bokhtar Str,, 8th Floor, Suite 804
Dushanbe City, 734025
Tajikistan

Background:

The USAID TB Control Program (USAID TBCP) is a five-year Program implemented by Project HOPE in two countries of Central Asia – Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The purpose of the Program is to ensure more effective and more accessible tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment for all, including vulnerable populations, so as to reduce the burden of TB and the development of drug-resistant TB in Central Asia.

Early and accurate diagnosis is important for effective control of TB. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made on developing technologies for the diagnosis of TB. For countries with a high burden of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), including Tajikistan, now WHO recommends new rapid diagnostics methods that allow early detection of resistance and start appropriate treatment regimens, thus reducing the risk of further spreading and complicating sustainability. 

Despite recent achievements, the National TB Program (NTP) is facing serious problems that need to be addressed in order to ensure the best medical treatment for patients and control of the disease. Lagging from achievement of universal access to proper diagnosis remains very tangible.

Effective treatment of TB restores the patient's health, interrupts the spread of infection in society and, importantly, prevents the development of drug resistance. Therefore, TB treatment is not only a matter of individual health, but also an important public health responsibility. Inadequate treatment is one of the main causes of M/XDR-TB. WHO emphasizes that national TB programs should implement modern disease management strategies and standards in order to achieve national targets and prevent the spread of drug resistance. 

The USAID TB Control Program is looking for an international expert for providing technical support to MoH/NTP in assessing early detection of TB cases and timely initiation of treatment in country.

Objective:
• Conduct assessment of early diagnostics of TB, patient adherence to TB treatment and ways to improve DOT in Tajikistan
• Development OR report with recommendations for improving early detection of patients' adherence to treatment based on the results of the assessment which should include: 
- Analysis of financial, political, infrastructural impacts on TB and PHC systems for timely detection and proper treatment of TB patients
- Benefits, opportunities and gaps in early TB detection and controlled treatment

Tasks:
• Desk review of existing policies, strategies and technical documentation relevant to the field of scrutiny
• Working with the USAID TB Control Program key technical staff, meeting with the key national, international and public stakeholders on the subject of early diagnostics patient adherence to TB treatment and ways to improve DOT of TB in the view of the current policy decisions
• To perform two missions in Tajikistan. First, assessment to Tajikistan, and it is expecting that Expert will visit Tajikistan with vision on situation on TB case detection, DOT, TB patient adherence
• Development of a methodology and tools of OR implementation
• To develop checklists for data collection process, taking into account NTP country’s specifics
• To visit Tajikistan aimed to present of the draft OR report developed by the consultant at the Thematic Working Group meeting, facilitates its review by interested parties
• Finalization of OR report, based on the recommendations of the interested parties and NTP
• Facilitate and coordinate with local consultants the process of development of an action plan with recommendations to NTP\MoH
• Development of the mission report with comments/ recommendations and submitting it to the USAID TB Control Program’s Country Director

Deliverable
• Mission report on early diagnostics of TB, patient adherence to TB treatment and ways to improve DOT
• Presentation of OR report at the TWG meeting 
• Action plan with recommendations for the NTP and MoH based on OR results and findings 
• Mission Report with details of the assignment and recommendations within 10 working days after completion of missions

Minimum Qualifications:
• Master/University degree in health sciences, PhD is preferable
• A minimum of five years of experience in implementation of TB programs
• Good technical skills in measurement and evaluation, including grasp of methodological and operational dimensions and the ability to link corporate and country level issues
• Knowledge in the field of M/XDR-TB in Tajikistan preferred
• Excellent interpersonal, consultation, communication (both verbal and written), facilitation and presentation skills
• Experience in planning, conducting research with implementation of assessment in the health sector
• Excellent knowledge of Russian and English language
• Skills in developing analytical and informative materials

Period of Performance: 25 working days between May 2018 and June 2018

Location of Performance: Dushanbe, Tajikistan