Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization created in 1971 that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. MSF is present in over seventy countries.

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 a Histotechnologist to work inside the pathology laboratory in QECH to assist the hospital in providing and improving the pathology-related services.

The position is an ideal opportunity for a Histotechnologist with a special interested in building up human resources capacity in resource-limited contexts, offering mentorship and capacity-building of laboratory technicians in cervical cancer program 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. The Histotechnologist must be willing to step out of his/her comfort zone, take initiative, and be a proactive and cooperative member of the project team, as he/she may be asked to engage in not only laboratory tasks, but also administrative, managerial, and teaching tasks.


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

  • 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.


  • Laboratory technician diploma with specialization and training in histopathology (essential)
  • Certification as Histotechnologist (essential)
  • Minimum 2 years laboratory work experience in histopathology (essential)
  • Experience in managing and training staff in pathology laboratory a major advantage
  • Experience in resource limited settings are desirable, but not essential
  • Ability to work and live with a diverse team
  • Fluency in English (mandatory)
  • Essential computer literacy (word, excel, internet)
  • Competencies:
  1.    People Management and Development
  2. Commitment to MSF Principles
  3. Behavioral Flexibility
  4. Result and Quality Orientation
  5. Teamwork and Cooperation

Terms of employment

  • Field contract: 1 year (renewable), salary according to the international remuneration grid
  • Vacation: 25 days per year, 5 additional days for a commitment of 12 months and recuperation days depending on workload
  • Flight ticket: Supported at 100% when going to the field and coming back home.
  • Accommodation: Supported at 100%

Please submit your CV and cover letter to: [email protected]

Only selected candidates will be contacted

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