HIV/TB Patient and Community Support Advisor, South Africa

Duration: One year renewable (full time)

Start date: 1 January  2016

Location: Cape Town office,  South Africa

Reports to: HIV/TB Unit coordinator of SAMU

Deadline: submissions close at 16:00 (GMT+2) on 30 October 2015

Doctors without Borders (MSF) South Africa

Doctors without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, or to people that are excluded from access to health care. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.

Southern Africa Medical Unit (SAMU)

SAMU is a decentralized unit of the Medical Department of MSF Operational Centre Brussels (OCB) and is the medical division of MSF South Africa. It provides technical and implementation support to the various MSF HIV/TB Integrated missions via training, operational research and epidemiology, and medical technical support, focusing on innovative ideas and technologies that are feasible to implement in resource-limited settings.

Place in the organisation

The position of Patient and Community Support Advisor will be based in Cape Town within the SAMU team.

Nature of the function


HIV/TB Patient and Community Support covers all the activities aimed at empowering patients, their caregivers and their community with regard to prevention and treatment, beyond the purely medical aspects of care.

Patient & Community Support covers health promotion,  psychosocial, and community support activities with the aim to develop patients’ individual skills, strengthen community action and create supportive environments.

The HIV/TB Patient and Community Support advisor functions as part of the Southern Africa Medical Unit (SAMU). SAMU plays a key role in coordinating medical technical and strategic support to HIV/TB programs for OCB. The post holder will collaborate closely with the HIV/TB advisors and other SAMU team members.  The HIV/TB Patient and Community Support advisor will also closely collaborate with the mental health and health promotion advisors within the OCB Medical department.

Main Responsibilities

Ensure general technical support

  • To give remote field support related to HIV/TB Patient and Community Support (including strategies and tools for health promotion, patient education and counseling, tracing, related advocacy etc)
  • To lead the development, promotion and implementation of HIV/TB Patient and Community Support vision, policy, and strategy in MSF-OCB operations
  • Give quality support to medical polyvalent in the cells and field staff through briefings and debriefings
  • Provide support on Hep C and NCD with HP advisor where required
  • Participate in medical department meetings and activities with HQ and SAMU medical advisors

Ensure direct technical field support through short term field visits

  • Assess HIV Patient & Community Support component: strategy, activities, tools, HR, M&E and integration
  • Analyze project challenges in the implementation of PCS
  • Ensure the implementation of the patient & community support package, adapted to the reality of the field, in collaboration with the PS activity manager
  • Ensure short national and expatriate field training on PCS
  • Produce after each field visit a report of work carried on and recommendations

Work on specific technical PCS and HP subjects

  • Development of technical recommendations and tools (guides, protocols, manuals…) on patient & community support on medical priorities in collaboration with other HIV/TB medical advisors.
  • Collation, adaptation and dissemination of existing tools (guidelines, visual aids etc) to ensure inclusion of latest evidence and WHO guidelines, in collaboration with other SAMU advisers, HP & MH advisors and the intersectional Patient Support Education and counselling contact group

Ensure training on Patient and Community Support

  • Organisation of Patient & Community Support workshop  with the intersectional Patient Support, Education and Counselling contact group
  • Development of mentoring approach for Patient Support at field level
  • Support PCS sessions in relevant MSF trainings

Document and disseminate PCS practices

  • Propose subjects for Operational Research to the field and the OR advisors and collaborate with them
  • Writing of reports on PCS related topics in collaboration with  SAMU focal points, AAU,…
  • Represent SAMU on PCS related topics towards other actors such as other MSF sections, international actors, on conferences,…

Collaborate with the HR department to build the pool of PCS staff

  • Collaborate with the recruitment unit for validation of CVs of potential candidates, together with MH & HP advisor
  • Collaborate with the pool manager in the matching process of PCS expatriates

Line-manage the Patient & Community Support Mobile Implementation Officer

  • Plan MIO’s field visits in collaboration with operational cells and SAMU focal points
  • Ensure technical support to MIO
  • Ensure yearly evaluations of MIO


  • 1 year full time contract with possible renewal
  • Full time position based in South Africa, with maximum 40% of field visits
  • Starting date: ASAP
  • Reporting to: HIV/TB Unit coordinator of SAMU

Person’s profile

  • University degree in Human Sciences: Psychology, Educational sciences, Sociology, Anthropology, Health Promotion
  • MSF field experience of at least 5 years (including some managerial experience)
  • Previous experience in MSF or other HIV/AIDS projects in patient & community support and health promotion
  • Languages: good oral and written skills in English, French. Portuguese is an asset
  • Good communication capabilities, ability to work as a team
  • Flexibility to carry out field visits

To apply

Please follow this link to submit your application.

Deadline: submissions close at 16:00 (GMT+2) on 30 October 2015

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.