BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Ghana confirmed outbreak of circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Type 2 (cVDPV2) in August 2019 in the Northern Region. The outbreak has since spread to nine other regions in the country. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, response activities to the polio outbreak were largely suspended. In order to prevent further spread of the poliovirus, the country will restart implementation of polio outbreak response activities to help break transmission.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) seeks to ensure that future generations of children will be free from the threat of polio. Achieving this goal depends on interrupting poliovirus transmission and on ensuring rapid and effective responses to poliovirus outbreaks occurring in polio-free countries
GPEI Strategy for the response to the cVDPV2 2020–2021, offers contingency measures across four mutually supportive areas of work: 1. enhanced outbreak response; 2. vaccine supply and usage; 3. early detection of new outbreaks; and 4. communication and promotion. Countries experiencing cVDPV2 outbreaks are expected to implement these strategies and break transmission within the shortest possible time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office for Ghana seeks to engage highly motivated professionals to support the implementation of polio outbreak response activities.
Description of duties:
Under the overall guidance of WHO Representative to Ghana and direct supervision of the GPEI Coordinator and the National Professional Officers (NPOs) for Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and Surveillance, the incumbent will have the following responsibilities in her/his assigned area of work:
1. Collaborate closely with GPEI partners and officials of the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service at national and sub national levels for all surveillance and immunization activities, providing regular technical support and feedback.
2. Support Ministry of Health at all levels to strengthen and maintain a sensitive surveillance system within the framework of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) with a special focus on polio eradication, and vaccine preventable diseases as follows:
a. Support development and implementation of response work plans
b. Support active case search, acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case investigation, validation, 60 days follow up
c. Support mapping of high risk and special populations and provide technical support to areas that have these populations
d. Support for Environmental surveillance activities and operations.
e. Support epidemiological investigation, risk assessment and outbreak response activities.
3. Support the Ministry of Health (MOH) at all levels to strengthen immunization services especially in high risk and special populations through:
a. Support to plan and conduct good quality Supplementary Immunization Activities
b. Support for mapping of high risk and special populations, development of micro plans and strategies in areas of assignment
c. Support for high risk areas to conduct risk assessments and opportunistic immunization activities to increase population immunity.
d. Support capacity building activities for immunization personnel at all levels.
4. Monitor and evaluate the planning and implementation of activities related to polio eradication, routine immunization and vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) surveillance.
5. Conduct regular analysis and interpretation of epidemiological, surveillance and immunization data to support appropriate follow up actions by the government and partners.
6. Support implementation of other health priorities as a part of WHO's Country Cooperation Strategy
Essential: Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health / Community Health or a relevant health field obtained from a recognized institution.
Desirable: Master’s in public health or related programme is desirable
Experience and Skills:
1. Excellent Communication skills (both written and spoken);
2. Knowledge of Word Processing, Spreadsheet and presentation software;
3. Good analytical skills;
4. Ability to work in different environments and multi-task effectively;
5. Good presentation and inter-personal skills;
6. Sound knowledge of WHO standards and policies such as the IDSR and IHR
7. Knowledge and understanding of the functionality of EPI and surveillance systems at national, sub national, local and community levels of the health systems in Ghana
8. Good scientific writing and development of reports
9. Experience working successfully in similar position as outlined in the scope of work
1. Moving forward in a changing environment
2. Producing results
3. Fostering integration and team work
4. Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond
Essential: At least five years of public health experience/practice
Desirable: Experience in public health/program management and/or experience of working in the polio eradication / routine immunization programme.
Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English and working knowledge of local language will be an asset.
This position will be filled only by a national of Ghana.
The incumbent should contribute to ensuring high professional, ethical, and institutional standards of the Organization. Meet professional conduct expectations, and basic universal norms of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and lawful behavior. This includes compliance with the above, including ability to: perform within existing organizational structures and governance; adhere to WHO's processes; demonstrate gender and cultural sensitivity; demonstrate respectful and constructive interpersonal communication; perform as a team player; and demonstrate due diligence.
Previous applicants should also apply.
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