Request For Proposals to Develop a 3-year HIV Viral Load and Early Infant Diagnosis Scale Up Plan for the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Malawi


Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation (MGIC)

1.0   Introduction

The Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation (MGIC) is an international non-profit affiliate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), which works to strengthen health systems and reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in the areas where we operate. We currently have offices in sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. MGIC’s administrative operations support the research and clinical programs of the School of MedicineInstitute of Human Virology (IHV) and Center for International Health, Education & Biosecurity (Ciheb), and other UMB entities. MGIC is currently supporting the Malawi’s Ministry of Health in improving laboratory capacity and quality in the Scale-up of HIV Diagnosis, Care, Treatment, and Monitoring with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC),

2.0   Background of the assignment

Malawi’s HIV prevalence is one of the highest globally, with 10.0% of the adult population (ages 15-49) living with HIV. An estimated one million Malawians were living with HIV in 2016, with 350,000 undiagnosed, and 24,000 Malawian died from AIDS-related illnesses in the same year. Based on the Malawi Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (MPHIA) and progress towards the 95-95-95 goals, Malawi demonstrates that the national HIV program has made great strides achieving 73-90-91 in 2016 and estimated to have achieved 93-80-92 in 2019 (UNAIDS, 2019).Since 2002, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Malawi has funded HIV laboratory capacity building corporative agreements. PEPFAR has built capacity for the national reference laboratory to develop rapid HIV dry tube test proficiency testing and quality control specimens. Currently, the immediate needs for Malawi are to (1) strengthen and increase efficiency in turnaround time for specimen transport system and return of results; (2) operationalize clinical-lab interface to increase access and utilization of viral load test results for optimal patient management; (3) strengthen mentoring for lab towards accreditation; and (4) increase institutional capacity for evidence-based management of HIV lab program. The goals of ending the AIDS epidemic in Malawi by 2030 are within reach, provided there is continued expansion of HIV treatment programs underpinned by a robust and efficient laboratory program.

The UMB in collaboration with the MOH wishes to support  the development of HIV Testing Scale up plan.

3.0   Terms of Reference for the Assignment

The Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation intends to procure consultancy services for the development of a 3-year HIV viral load and early infant diagnosis Scale up plan for Malawi according to the terms of reference as stipulated below. This exercise and the subsequent tendering processes shall be subject to the MGIC Procurement Regulations.

3.1 Purpose of the assignment:

The main objective of the consultancy is to develop a 3-year HIV viral load and early infant diagnosis Scale up plan for the country. In order to achieve this objective, a consultannt will be required to review the previous HIV Scale up plan and develop an extended 3-year work plan from 2021 to 2023.

The consultancy firm will work hand in hand with MoH diagnostic and Department of HIV and AIDSnt including implementing partners. The consultantwill be responsible for periodic updates including meetings with MoH, partners and stakeholders.

3.2 Specific tasks to be performed by the Consultant
The following are the specific tasks for the assignment:

  1. Consultatively compile a list of relevant implementing partners and stakeholders in public and private and including civil society, taking at the same time particular skills and experience each person will bring to process.
  2. Carry out desk review of previous and current strategic plans, and relevant data and other relevant supporting documents in public health and private sectors.
  3. Review existing laboratory network optimization including sample transportation system, hub and spoke network for POC, HRH, stock management ( national to site level), Equipment utilisation and waste management
  4. Organize and facilitate strategic planning meetings and report meeting outcomes with the Ministry of Health, its partners and other key stakeholders.
  5. Perform SWOT analysis to identify key focus areas to improve,strengthen and sustain the gains achieved by the HIV/TB laboratory programs.
  6. Generate draft EID/VL implementation plan and facilitate the adoption of the plan through consultative meetings
  7. Cost implementation of the EID/VL scale up plan
  8. Work with the Directorate in the submission of the final printed and bound implementation plan to the Secretary for Health.

4.0        Qualifications/expertise sought (required educational background, years of relevant work experience, other special skills or knowledge required):

The Consultancy film/Individual consultants must  have the following credentials:

  1. MSc qualifiations preferably in medical laboratory sciences
  2. well conversant with HIV laboratory issues, have worked on HIV related documents before, have the experience to work with the government, partners and stakeholders.
  3. Able to work under pressure and multitasking.
  4. At least 5-6 years of experience in developing strategic plan documents in the health sector in developing countries. Those with experience working in the Malawi Ministry of Health will be preferred.
  5. Familiarity with Malawi HIV program’s guidelines and policies.
  6. Familiarity with UNAID 95-95-95 goals

Detailed Terms of Reference for the assignment can be collected from MGIC Procurement Team through the following e-mail address: or contact the following numbers: +265 998 843 046/ or +265 881 665 604.

5.0      How to Apply:

Sealed Technical and Financial Proposals should be sent through post or electronically to the following address by 15th June 2021

The Country Director
Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity
Affiliate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore
Address  | P.O. Box 2298 | Golden Peacock Complex, City Center | Lilongwe 3 | Malawi.

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