Intersectional Pharmacist Central-East African Countries

  • International Office
  • Nairobi, Kenya

Intersectional Pharmacist Central-East African Countries

Job description

Position: Intersectional Pharmacist Central-East African Countries

Location: Nairobi

Contract: 1 year with possible extension after evaluation & decision by the medical directors

Starting date: ASAP

Application deadline: 26th January 2020


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation 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 International is the legal entity that binds MSF's 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, the MSF International Office provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. The International Office also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.


The general objective of this position is to support MSF programs and sections in medicines and medical devices supply, by guaranteeing that MSF quality standards are applied according to the evolving situation and available information with a focus on Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Somalia including Ethiopia as well, Sudan and in a lighter manner DRC.


• This intersectional pharmacist (ISP) position is hierarchically and technically linked to the international pharmacist coordinator (IPC), it will be the responsibility of the IPC to ensure that the regional pharmacist is given appropriate technical back-up, by:

  • considering him/her as a member of the international pool (including a participation per year in international pharmacists meetings);
  • identifying a technical back-up among the section pharmacists for each country in scope;
  • sharing with him/her relevant updated information on sources and quality;
  • providing him/her with any needed information on demand;
  • ensuring link with Access Campaign pharmacists and European Supply Centers (ESCs).

• Priorities will be set by the IPC in agreement with the section pharmacists based on needs.

• The ISP is in close contact and collaboration with the pharma network, especially with the section pharmacists and with the International Quality Assurance Coordinator for Medical Devices and IVDs (IQACMD).

• For administrative and security management, this position is under Kenya MSF OCB mission.


The ISP supports the various sections present in specific countries of the Central-Eastern Africa region by solving specific supply issues with all concerned departments (medical, logistic, finance).

The ISP is not supposed to replace or be the back-up of national pharmacist during holidays, each section must manage this situation by itself.


General Objectives:

  • To ensure that all sections implement the same importation and supply rules in accordance with MSF International Qualification scheme.
  • To develop/maintain local purchase databases with items and sources authorized for local purchase by section pharmacists in countries where importation is not possible.
  • To assess distributors on their GSDP compliance upon request and on behalf of the section pharmacists; final decision is taken by the referent section pharmacist for each country.
  • To assess GSDP compliance of key MSF warehouses in the countries within scope to ensure compliance with regulation and minimum standards are met.
  • To develop contacts and liaise with other NGOs, UN agencies and local organizations concerning quality/availability of essential medicines proactively, ensuring confidentiality of data generated by MSF regarding the quality of local suppliers.
  • To lead negotiations with the governmental entities to favor importation and access to quality medicines by MSF projects.
  • To ensure that all medical coordinators, country pharmacists, pharmacist coordinators, section pharmacists are updated on the national medicines and medical devices regulations.
  • To act as the focal person with local authorities, MSF ESCs, and MSF regulatory affairs pharmacist concerning pharmaceutical issues to ensure intersectional coherence and cooperation.
  • To support the missions in collaboration with the Access Campaign and the disease focused pharmacists in getting access to new or non-registered treatments for MSF projects.

Specific Objectives:

a) Regularly update information on pharmaceutical and medical devices legislation, in particular

importation and pharmacy warehouse registration and inform section pharmacists, medical coordinators and pharmacist coordinators accordingly:

  • Coordinate regular meetings with the mission pharmacists/medical coordinators/supply officers where information is exchanged, and problems shared to find common solutions.
  • Follow up the National Essential Medicines List updates and if required advocate for change or discuss therapeutic specificities, in collaboration with the medical coordinators.
  • Follow up local distributor and registered medicines lists, with particular focus on manufacturers of interest to MSF.
  • Assess GSDP compliance of key MSF warehouses in the countries within scope to ensure compliance with regulation and minimum standards are met.

b) Ensure all the changes in importation procedures are communicated to MSF ESCs, section

pharmacists, IPC, IMDC and MSF regulatory affairs pharmacist when relevant in a timely manner, with the involvement of the Supply team:

  • Liaise with ESC pharmacists as required to request specific technical support for importation.
  • Regularly communicate to MSF ESCs and operations updates and changes in the national guidelines, particularly info and regulations linked to pharmaceutical products importation.
  • Update the ESCs regarding the lobbying efforts and document the problems encountered with importation for all the sections.

c) Database and local procurement (If local procurement is the only option for some products):

  • Annual report to IPC and section pharmacists (SP) on exceptional pharmaceutical orders purchased in Nairobi for neighboring countries.
  • Compile and up-date documentation for each product (selected supplier, country of manufacture) and keep updated a database (approved by back-up SP).
  • Follow up pharmacy license for storage and purchase, including inspection of premises/ cargoes by the authorities.
  • Conduct local distributor assessment visits in accordance with MSF local market assessment guidelines and with approval (and final conclusion) given by the SP.
  • Work with all the sections to undergo pooled procurement (if agreed upon).

d) Support to MSF Supply Centers in the region:

  • Monitor and ensure that all pharma activities of the MSF supply centers present in the region (KSU, NSC, SUKA) remain within the frame of the international medical procurement policy.
  • The ISP may also provide technical support where relevant to the structures.
  • Share with the pharmacist of KSU the procurement database anytime there is a change.
  • Monitor that only the approved sources are integrated in the KSU’s management software (Nodhos) and purchased.
  • Monitor the good reception of the good product/source. Report any abnormalities to MSF Supply responsible pharmacist and KSU director.
  • Inform the KSU pharmacist on any quality issues linked to local purchases (problem of quality of drugs, complaint, batch recall…) and discuss how to react or act.
  • Give feedback on technical visits performed in the region to KSU pharmacist, informing her/him before the visit to check if some important issues can be shared.
  • Be physically present at KSU at least once a week to work closely with the pharmacist of KSU and share any information linked to QA issues as mentioned above.

e) Focal person representing MSF towards the authorities on pharmaceutical issues, and ensure

coherent and consistent communication with authorities (the “one MSF” approach):

  • Lead negotiations with the governmental entities to favor importation and access to quality medicines by MSF projects.
  • Participate to meetings related to pharmacy regulations.
  • If needed, provide technical support for the creation of document(s) to address the importation issues with local authorities.

f) Technical pharmacy support for medical managers:

  • Support supply officers, mission pharmacists/pharmacy managers and medical coordinators in training and advice in various topics related to medicines and medical devices importation.
  • Brief all new Medical Coordinators, Log Coordinators and Country Pharmacists on the pharmaceutical situation and the role of the ISP.

g) Act as the focal point for quality and pharmacovigilance issues:

  • Provide support for Quality Alert/Batch recalls relating to pharmaceuticals and medical devices (in liaison with the IPC).
  • Coordinate info related to complaints received regarding medicines and medical devices.


  • Submit monthly activity reports to be shared with all section medical and logistic coordinators, SPs, regulatory affairs pharmacist and IPC
  • Attend MSF medical coordinator meetings held between all sections, when requested
  • Coordinate the monthly pharmacy meetings
  • Participation in the Grand-messe meeting once a year
  • Participation in SP visit(s) and assist in preparing them
  • Provide a final hand-over report for all the sections with recommendations

Job requirements

Pharmacist with degree/diploma in pharmacy


  • Minimum 3 years professional experience, including some experience in developing countries with MSF or similar organizations
  • Experience with QA, GSDP and manufacturing aspects of pharmaceutical products desirable


  • Fluency in English and French mandatory
  • Mature with strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to work and report independently
  • Able to represent MSF with the capacity to negotiate positively and diplomatically with MoH officials and MSF national and expatriate staff
  • Excellent communication and diplomatic skills
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Good organization and management skills
  • Professionalism, transparency and flexibility a must
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills with attention to detail
  • Skilled in coaching, training and supporting pharmacist/medical supply personnel
  • Regular travel to Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and sporadically to DRC and with a regular presence at KSU (Nairobi) is required

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.