International Consultant- To Support Implementation of Surgical Site Infection Surveillance in Select Health Facilities
Freetown (Sierra Leone)
The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitationâs (MoHS) National Infection Prevention and Control Action Plan (2016-2019) includes the establishment of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) and Surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance as a priority initiative for 2018-2019. The 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level strongly recommends surveillance of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) be performed to guide IPC interventions with timely feedback of results to health care workers and stakeholders via national networks. Infectious morbidity after caesarean section can negatively affect a postpartum womanâs ability to return to normal activity and limit her ability to care for her newborn. Improving surgical outcomes in this population can be particularly impactful, and implementing a post-caesarean section SSI surveillance system will provide the data upon which interventions to improve patient safety can be based. In Sierra Leone, however, these data do not exist. The Surgical Infection Monitoring and Prevention Initiative will represent the first standardized multi-site HAI surveillance activity in Sierra Leone, proving a foundation to help ensure patient safety and guide national IPC and public health surveillance moving forward.
Purpose of the position
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in low and middle-income countries with an incidence over three times higher than rates seen in developed nations. Because many surgical site infections are preventable through infection prevention strategies and good surgical practice, the increased healthcare cost and associated patient morbidity from SSIs are avoidable in most settings. The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitationâs (MoHS) National Infection Prevention and Control Action Plan (2016-2019) include establishing HAI/SSI surveillance as a priority initiative for 2018-2019. This three-month contract for the Surgical Infection Monitoring and Prevention Initiative (SIMPI) Coordinator will support the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health & Sanitation National Infection Prevention and Control Unit (MOHS-NIPCU) to implement activities related to the establishment of surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance and prevention at health care facilities in Sierra Leone. Quality SSI surveillance has been shown to be an effective intervention for reducing the risk of SSI and establishing safer surgical practice. While building and maintaining any surveillance systems is not easy, with targeted system objectives and an honest appreciation of available resources, quality SSI surveillance is possible. Under overall supervision of the head of WHO office in Sierra Leone and the direct supervision of the WHO IPC team lead, the Consultant will work in close collaboration with the National IPC Unit and the hospital management of the four SSI implementation sites. Expected work duties will include ensuring timely submission of surveillance data to MOHS-NIPCU, facilitating feedback of surveillance results/reports to facilities, supporting SSI surveillance and prevention activities at pilot sites, assessing surveillance activities (i.e., data collection, data entry, and data management), and other tasks deemed necessary by the supervisor to accomplish the work. The consultant will also act as a liaison officer by facilitating communication/coordination between pilot facilities, MOHS-NIPCU, and WHO for all issues pertaining to the Surgical Infection Monitoring and Prevention Initiative.
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
The following outputs are expected from the consultant
Â· Participation in weekly project update calls
Â· Monthly surveillance reports for each pilot site
Â· Produce draft reports for supervisor /partner review
Â· Incorporate comments / edits / suggestions as final report
Â· Final consultant report
Â· Ensure timely submission of surveillance data to MOHS-NIPCU and facilitate feedback of surveillance results / reports to facilities
Â· Hold regular meetings with the SSI surveillance focal person at pilot facilities to support SSI surveillance and prevention activities
Â· Communicate regularly with surgical staff at pilot facilities to ensure healthcare workers have adequate support and that the resources needed for surveillance activities are available
Â· Regular visits to pilot facilities to observe and assess surveillance activities including data collection, data entry, and data management
Â· Acts as liaison and facilitates communication/coordination between pilot facilities, MOHS-NIPCU, and WHO for any issue pertaining to the Surgical Infection Monitoring and Prevention Initiative.
Â· Coordination, facilitation, and logistical support of SIMPI training sessions
Â· Additional activities may include\:
Â· Coordination, facilitation, and logistical support of meetings between partners (e.g., hospital management teams hospital surgical teams, MOHS-NIPCU, and WHO) to discuss progress and challenges in the implementation of SIMPI
Â· Production and distribution, with appropriate review and approval, of documents such as interim project reports and meeting minutes.
The consultant will work in a participatory manner with the National IPC unit, National IPC Technical Working Group, WHO HQ, US CDC, and hospital management teams throughout this initiative. Meetings will be organised for the consultant during initial planning, scale-up, throughout implementation, and for any final briefings. The consultant will interact with the Director Health Security and Emergencies, National IPC unit, National IPC Technical working group, key partners supporting IPC activities in Sierra Leone, and any other group suggested by the MOHS. At least weekly, the consultant will liaise with implementing partners and the National IPC Coordinator to update on progress and discuss challenges to successful implementation and/or risks to project deliverables.
The Consultant will work on the supervision of\:
Responsible Officer(s)\: Dr M. Vhandi Director, Health Security and Emergencies, MoHS
Christiana Kallon National IPC Coordinator MOHS, Sierra Leone
Anna Maruta IPC team Lead, WHO, Sierra Leone
Manager\: Alexander Chimbaru, OIC, Sierra Leone
Â· First university degree in health sciences
Â· Advanced degree in Public Health or related field from a recognized institution
- A minimum of 2 years of clinical experience
- Project management experience with evidence of producing quality written reports
- Experience performing simple data analysis, interpreting findings, and effectively communicating results
- Experience working with and supporting Ministries of Health
- Good understanding of medical terminology and good surgical practice
Functional Knowledge and Skills\:
Â· Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Â· Proficiency in basic computer skills, including the use of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and EXCEL
Â· Experience in working effectively in resource constraint environments
1. Producing results
2. Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
3. Ability to communicate in a credible and effective way
4. Fostering integration and team work
5. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Use of Language Skills
Essential\: Excellent written and spoken English
REMUNERATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
P2- Level (5,467.50 Monthly rate)
Place of Assignment
This consultant will be based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Travel to districts may be discussed and agreed on.