The MRCG has carried out nutritional research in Keneba and the surrounding villages for over 60 years. Although the location of the Field Station is remote and rural, considering its location, Keneba has world-class laboratory and other facilities necessary for high-quality field research and the delivery of a comprehensive primary health care service. MRCG Keneba is a 3 hour journey from MRCG Fajara.
Consultant Clinician/Head of Clinical Services
Established in 1947, the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia has an international reputation for ground-breaking research into some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics. Achievements include a large trial showing the efficacy of Haemophilusinfluenzae type B vaccine in The Gambia and the subsequent near elimination of the disease, pioneering studies of the impact of insecticide treated bed nets as a preventive measure against malaria leading up to their worldwide use, studies demonstrating the impact of conjugate pneumococcal vaccines on pneumonia and child mortality and the demonstration of a dramatic reduction in the carriage of Hepatitis B in The Gambia due to the effects of vaccination.
To reflect changes in national and global health priorities and new international funding opportunities a new research portfolio has been organized under four themes: Child Survival; Disease Control & Elimination; Vaccination; and Nutrition. These themes have been selected to target national health needs, to reinforce sub-regional and international links and to address some of the major current priorities in the Millennium Global Health Goals.
MRCGKeneba is situated within the village of Keneba, about 100 miles from the coast and the capital Banjul (3 hours by car). The MRCG has carried out nutritional research in Keneba and the surrounding villages for over 60 years. The location of the unit is remote and rural, but, considering its location, Keneba has excellent laboratory and other facilities necessary for high-quality field research and the delivery of a comprehensive primary health care service. The unit is fully integrated within the MRCG, and works closely the MRCG’s International Nutrition Group based in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
For more than 30 years, the unit has run an outpatient and emergency medical service for local villages. This is a primary care outpatient clinic, with maternity services, a small observation unit for a maximum of two inpatients, and a supplement feeding centre for malnourished children. Patients requiring further hospital investigation or admission are transferred to the MRCG at the coast, to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Banjul or Sulayman Junkung Hospital, Bwiam.
The clinic has a regular ‘call clinic’ for growth monitoring and immunisation in children under two, regular clinics for chronic diseases including hypertension and diabetes, and developing mental health and palliative care services. The maternity team provide a family planning service, run a regular antenatal clinic, conduct an average of eight deliveries a month, and provide baby checks and post natal checks to women who deliver in the community.
The clinical facilities are open-access, free at the point of delivery and are integrated with the government primary health care service based locally in Karantaba Health Centre. Basic clinical laboratory support is provided on-site and further investigations can be obtained through the MRC Unit at the coast. All data collected during a patient’s clinic visit are recorded using a live computerised clinic data entry system, which facilitates the research undertaken at MRCGKeneba.
Purpose of the Job
The post-holder will have the dual responsibility of managing the Clinical Services and participating fully in the research agenda of the Nutrition Theme.
The post holder is accountable to the Head of Clinical Services, MRC Unit The Gambia.
As the Head of Clinical Services, the incumbent will be responsible for managing the clinical services in Keneba, directly supervising all the clinical staff, and liaising with the Clinical services at the MRCGFajara and the Regional Health Teams. In addition, there may be opportunities to undertake research with a view of undertaking a further degree for a suitable candidate.
Provide general medical care to the attendees of the MRCGKeneba field-station outpatients clinic.
Assist in the collection of clinical research data.
Be responsible for preparing and contribute to the on-call rota.
Supervise and provide clinical care to the field station staff and their immediate families.
Supervise and provide clinical care for patients at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit.
Management and Administration:
Lead, direct and manage the MRCGKeneba Clinical Services under the supervision of the Head of Clinical Services, MRCG Unit The Gambia.
Lead, manage and be accountable for the delivery, implementation and development of effective primary health care services by MRCGKeneba to West Kiang communities in collaboration with the Regional Health Team.
Be responsible for the ordering, purchase and auditing of drugs and clinical equipment.
Serve as a member of the MRCGKeneba management team, and contribute effectively to corporate direction, management and governance, and to the establishment and achievement of strategic objectives.
Motivate, supervise and monitor the work of the clinical staff.
Work in close cooperation with the Regional Health Team and the Clinical Services at MRCGFajara.
Advise the Head of Station on matters related to the Clinical Services at MRCGKeneba.
Ensure effective coverage of clinical duties in MRCG Keneba.
Initiate, carry out, or direct regular audits of the clinical service provided.
Assist in teaching station nursing staff, medical students and other visiting workers.
Maintain continual professional development and a commitment to the good clinical governance of MRCGKeneba.
Carry out other duties assigned by the Head of Station.
Education and Training:
Mentor and teach the Medical Officers/Research Clinicians in the clinical team.
Organise and oversee the weekly clinical meetings and develop a CPD programme for whole clinical team including regular morbidity and mortality meetings.
Demonstrate commitment to evidence-based clinical practice by keeping abreast of all relevant developments in the medical field; ensuring that information on all new developments is available to the Unit’s clinically qualified staff.
Engage in joint training sessions with the other regional health teams.
Participate fully in all research activities (journal clubs, seminars etc.) carried out at MRCGKeneba.
Help develop research protocols for addressing research questions identified as priorities by the Nutrition Theme, for other scientists in the team and collaborators.
Manage research projects ensuring efficient/accountable use of staff and resources, compliance with research protocols/Health and Safety guidelines and highest standards of medical care attainable in Keneba.
Ensure effective clinical support to on-going and planned research projects in Keneba.
Undertake analysis, write-up and dissemination of results efficiently.
Other research duties assigned by the Head of Station
Undertake all work strictly following the relevant Safety Rules and regulations as laid down in the MRCG Safety Manual.
The post-holder is a full-time member of the MRC staff.
The post-holder will report the Head of Clinical Services, MRC Unit The Gambia.
The Nutrition Theme Leader is Andrew Prentice
The Head of Clinical Services, MRC Unit The Gambia is Dr Karen Forest.
The Unit Director is Professor Umberto D’Alessandro.
Appraisals are held at least annually.
Length of appointment:
The appointment is for 1 year initially and is subject to a probationary period of 3 months.
Any other duties:
To perform any other duties consistent with the remit of the post
Education and Training - minimum requirement:
FWACP Part 2 or equivalent in Internal Medicine/Paediatrics/Family Practice
Experience & job related knowledge:
Record of publications in peer-reviewed journals
Practical experience of health research and clinical work in developing countries
Experience of staff management
Excellent written and spoken English
Good IT skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access)
Abilities & Aptitudes:
Commitment to working in a multi-disciplinary team
Excellent interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills
A flexible and well-organized approach to work and an ability to meet deadlines
Ability to deal sensitively with patients
Attentiveness to detail
Excellent organizational skills
Willingness to be on-call and work outside the normal working hours.
Willingness to live in a remote rural location.
Interested candidates should send their applications letter and CV's to: [email protected]