Intersectional Pharmacist East African Region, Kenya

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

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

Starting date: November 2015

Application deadline: 27 September 2015


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 the 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 in Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda (and Somalia if MSF reopens programs there).


  • This position is hierarchically and technically linked to the International Pharmacist Coordinator (IPC).
  • For administrative and security management, this position is under MSF OCB mission in Kenya.
  • This intersectional regional pharmacist position is functionally linked to the international pharmaceutical coordination: 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 two participations per year in international pharmacists meetings);
  • Identifying a regular technical back-up among the section pharmacists;
  • Sharing with him/her relevant updated information on sources and quality;
  • Providing him/her with any needed information on demand;
  • Ensuring the links with the pharmacists in the Access Campaign team and in ESC.
  • The priorities will be set by the IPC in agreement with the section pharmacists based on the needs.
  • The pharmacist is in close contact and collaboration with the pharmacist network and more especially the section pharmacists and with the International Medical Device Coordinator (IMDC)


The intersectional pharmacist supports the various sections present in the East Africa region where MSF works by solving specific supply issues with all concerned departments (medical, logistic, finance). This includes provision of advice/ support to the missions and Section Pharmacists.

  • Gain a better knowledge on the pharmaceutical and medical device market (analysis of registered drugs, main pharmaceutical and medical device companies, etc.) in the region and the regulatory frameworks.
  • For countries where local procurement is a necessity: provide information on the local purchase possibilities (manufacturers to be audited and distributors to be assessed).
  • Monitor and re-evaluate the relevance of the procurement strategies in a continuous way, taking into account MSF program developments in the countries, as well as quality, legal and administrative issues.

The intersectional pharmacist is not supposed to replace or be the back-up of national pharmacist during holiday; 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 collect data to develop or maintain local purchase database with items and sources authorised for local purchase by section pharmacists in countries where importation is not possible.
  • To develop contacts and liaise with other NGOs, UN agencies and local organisations concerned with quality/availability of essential medicines regarding pharmaceutical issues in a proactive manner, ensuring confidentiality of data generated by MSF regarding the quality of local suppliers.
  • To visit distributors and report on their GDP compliance upon request and on behalf of the section pharmacists; final decision to accept or reject the distributors to be taken by the referent section pharmacist for that country.
  • To ensure that all medical coordinators, Country pharmacist and pharmacist coordinators, Section pharmacists are aware and updated on the national medicines and medical device regulations, guidelines and laws.
  • To act as the focal person regarding contacts with local authorities, with MSF European Supply Centres (ESC), with MSF regulatory affair pharmacist concerning pharmaceutical issues, in order to assure intersectional coherence and cooperation.
  • 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:

  1. Regularly update information on pharmaceutical and medical device 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 pharmaceuticals information are exchanged and problems shared in order 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.
  1. Ensure all the changes in importation procedures are communicated to the MSF ESC, Section pharmacists, IPC, IMDC when relevant and MSF regulatory affairs pharmacist in a timely manner, with the involvement of the Supply team:
  • Liaise with ESC Pharmacists as required in order to request specific technical support for importation; 
  • Continuously communicate to the MSF ESC and Operations the new updates and changes in the national guidelines, particularly information and regulations pertaining to pharmaceutical products importation;
  • Update the ESC regarding the lobbying efforts and document the problems encountered with importation, for all the sections.
  1. Database and local procurement (If local procurement is the only option for some products):
  • Be the main referent for CHMP for all procurement related issues and ensure that CHMP complies with MSF requirement for local procurement when importation is not possible
  • Annual report to IPC and section pharmacists 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 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).
  1. Support to MSF Supply Centers in the region:

    The regional pharmacist should monitor and share with the IPC the developments and ensure that all pharmaceutical activities of the MSF supply centres present in the region (KSU, NSC, SUKA) remain within the frame of the international medical procurement policy. The regional pharmacist may also provide technical support where relevant to the structures. The regional pharmacist should support and train the pharmacists when necessary. Specific support KSU on Quality Assurance includes:

  • 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 on regular basis the KSU database with the pharmacist in place to be fully compliant with the procurement database, and 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 a feedback on technical visits performed in the region to KSU pharmacist, even more inform 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.
  1. Focal person representing MSF towards the authorities on pharmaceutical issues, and ensure a coherent and consistent communication system with authorities (the “one MSF” approach):
  • 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.
  1. Technical pharmacy support for medical managers:
  • To support supply officers, mission pharmacists/pharmacy managers and medical coordinators in providing training, and advise in various topics related to drugs and medical device importation;
  • Brief all new Medical Coordinator, Log Coordinator and Country Pharmacists regarding Pharmaceutical situation and the role of the intersectional pharmacist.
  1. 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 International Pharmacist Coordinator)
  • Coordinate information relating to complaints received regarding Pharmaceuticals and Medical devices.


  • Submit monthly activity reports  to be shared with all section medical and logistic coordinators, section pharmacists, regulatory affairs pharmacist and IPC
  • Attend MSF medical coordinator meetings held between all sections, when requested
  • Coordinate the monthly Pharmacy meetings
  • Participation in Grand Messe meetings twice a year
  • Participation in Section Pharmacist visit and assist in preparing this visit
  • Provide a final hand-over report for all the sections with recommendations


Pharmacist with degree/diploma in pharmacy


  • Minimum three years professional experiences, including some experience in developing countries with MSF or another organisation
  • Experience with quality assurance, Good Distribution and Storage Practices and manufacturing aspects of pharmaceutical products desirable


  • Fluency in English mandatory, knowledge of additional languages of the region desirable, French would be an added advantage
  • Mature with strong interpersonal and organisational 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 organisation 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 South Sudan and Uganda and with a regular presence at KSU is required

Deadline for applications: 27 September 2015

Start date: 1 November 2015

Salary and working conditions: expatriate status; salary level 13 MSF international field salary

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating Intersectional Pharmacist East Africa” in the title.

Please submit only ONE FILE containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your LAST NAME only.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.