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Temporary Appointment: Health Specialist (Epidemiologist), P-4, based in Amman - Jordan (364 days) #105768

Amman (Jordan)

Under the supervision of the Regional Health and Nutrition Adviser, responsible for the analysis of primary and secondary data, to build the capacity of Regional and Country Office UNICEF colleagues and ensure data analytic capacity at all levels. This is expected to further enhance capacity of UNICEF staff in analyzing and incorporating latest epidemiological data and information related to AWD/cholera and other public health emergencies and strengthen UNICEF’s internal capacity and that of partners to develop more robust preparedness and response plans and guide adjustments in real time.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.

For every child, a champion

In the 2010 update of the Core Commitments for Children (CCCs) is the explicit commitment that appropriate and experienced staff and personnel with relevant deployment training are provided and rapidly deployed, that focus on action in the first eight critical weeks of humanitarian response and provide guidance for action beyond that, moving towards defined benchmarks.

Yemen's cholera epidemic, is currently the largest in the world, which has spread rapidly, with UNICEF and WHO indicating that the reason behind the rapid spread is high rates of malnutrition, food insecurity, collapsing health system, sanitation and clean water systems which in turn are due to the country's ongoing conflict. The health system is struggling to cope, with more than half of all health facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds, and shortages in medicines and supplies are persistent and widespread 

In Yemen AWD/ suspected Cholera cases continue to rise, and this month saw the caseload of AWD/suspected cholera cases rise to more than a million people, with 2,237 associated deaths as of 31 December. 99.7 per cent of people who became sick with AWD/suspected cholera and who could access health services survived. Low scale AWD/cholera transmission is also currently ongoing in Sudan, Iraq and likely Djibouti, while crisis affected and refugee hosting countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan have a potential risk of AWD/Cholera outbreak

Recent data from Yemen, reveal that there has been some decrease in the attack rates in some of the governorates, and an increase in others. Also, the incidence of diarrheal diseases has not been reduced despite this response. This raises questions on the effectiveness of the cholera response, and calls for a more in-depth review of the cholera crisis response with a fresh lens, including data accuracy, case definition and management, testing and quality of the containment and prevention strategies. Previous UNICEF response brings together Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Communications for Development (C4D) in an integrated approach at different intervention levels from household, community, facility and institutional levels to central level, for a comprehensive public health approach.

The UNICEF Strategy is built on 5 key principles – (i) integration of WASH, Health and Communication response, (ii) partnership and coherence with Health and WASH clusters, (iii) a focused approach on priority districts and hot spots, (iv) address the ongoing outbreak (response and control) and (v) prevention of future outbreak (prevention, preparedness and health system strengthening). This approach will need to have a regional component which will involve all key sectors that will be required for preparedness, prevention and effective response. 

This need prompted UNICEF to engage a team of Real Time Evaluators (RTE) to fulfill both accountability and learning purposes. The RTE assessed the effectiveness of the containment and prevention activities, for which UNICEF has provided leadership in the response, and considered how far the response has been conducted in an appropriate, coordinated, efficient and timely manner, considering that the UNICEF Yemen Country Office (YCO) is also responding. The evaluation reviewed the coverage of the UNICEF response, the partnerships put in place as well as its management and internal and external coordination to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and came up with several recommendations one of which is:

“Action to strengthen UNICEF’s ability to analyze epidemiological data from country/region and advise on appropriate response

Recommend immediate recruitment / deployment of epidemiologist to UNICEF MENARO”

How can you make a difference?

Under the supervision of the Regional Health and Nutrition Adviser, responsible for the analysis of primary and secondary data, to build the capacity of Regional and Country Office UNICEF colleagues and ensure data analytic capacity at all levels. This is expected to further enhance capacity of UNICEF staff in analyzing and incorporating latest epidemiological data and information related to AWD/cholera and other public health emergencies and strengthen UNICEF’s internal capacity and that of partners to develop more robust preparedness and response plans and guide adjustments in real time.

  • Develop and or maintain in collaboration with the Country Offices, WHO and other partners the national/provincial/district/community surveillance and early warning systems.
  • Build capacity to collect data related to AWD/Cholera and other public health emergencies and work with Country Offices and WHO to analyse it in order to anticipate outbreaks, alert and respond when they occur and inform the Health, Nutrition and WASH and C4D programme officers.
  • Develop, analyse and maintain, up-to-date, AWD/Cholera and other public health emergencies trajectories, trends, etc to the RO internal task force for early warning.
  • Support the Country Offices and WHO to analyse data and produce regular updates on the outbreak situation.
  • Participate and build capacity with the lead agency and partners to develop strategies, preparedness and response plans, including WASH, case management and communications ensuring appropriate use of surveillance data.
  • Collaborate with the UNICEF M&E sections at country level to provide appropriate data to monitor and evaluate cholera control programs.
  • Provide technical support to partners to analyse and use data for Health, Nutrition, WASH and communications programs.
  • Support the country office emergency coordination team to establish number and location of CTC’s/ORTCs or other outbreaks treatment units based on data.
  • Support capacity building initiatives for UNICEF Regional, country office, National authorities and implementing partners on surveillance and early warning systems and collection, analysis, use and dissemination of data for action.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Education: Advanced university degree in public health (MD, nursing or other relevant health discipline) and/or a Master’s, MSc, PhD in public health or related field.
  • Work Experience: A minimum of 8 years of experience in planning, monitoring  and implementing cholera control or other public health emergencies as part of outbreak response teams. 
  • Language Proficiency: Fluency in English is required. Good written and spoken skills in the language of the humanitarian operation and knowledge of another UN language (Arabic) an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

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UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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Remarks:

* Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

* Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

* The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receiving an offer.

* Employment is conditional upon receipt of medical clearance, any clearance required, the grant of a visa, and completion of any other pre-employment criteria that UNICEF may establish. Candidates may not be further considered or offers of employment may be withdrawn if these conditions are unlikely to be met before the date for commencement of service.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Amman (Jordan)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Medical Practitioners
  • Closing Date: 2018-06-27

What does it mean?

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