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Surveillance Medical Officer (SMO) – (Roster)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Nepal
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: Closed

Purpose of the programe

The World Health Organization (WHO), Nepal invites applications from qualified and experienced Nepalese citizens for the position of Surveillance Medical Officer (SMO) under Programme for Immunization Preventable Diseases (IPD).

The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster for WHO, IPD Nepal. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for the assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a SSA contract. There is no commitment on either side.


The Immunization Preventable Disease Programme of WHO Nepal (WHO-IPD) has been providing continuous technical assistance to the Government of Nepal (GON) mainly in areas of vaccine preventable disease (VPD) surveillance and immunization, for over past two decades. In addition, WHO-IPD has also supported the government in various emergency responses including the 2015 earthquake and current COVID-19 surveillance and response. WHO-IPD operates through a nationwide network of 15 surveillance medical officers working through 10 field offices managed by a central coordinating office.

WHO-IPD has also provided technical assistance in informing immunization policy through operational research and has provided pivotal support to the National Immunization Programme (NIP) of Nepal in achieving polio free status and eliminating neonatal tetanus and in controlling measles, rubella, diphtheria, hepatitis-B, Rota, Japanese encephalitis and other VPDs.

Objective of the position

The surveillance medical officer position provides technical assistance to provincial, district and municipality levels in all matters related to VPD surveillance and immunization. Such technical assistance includes but is not limited to capacity building and sensitization of government and private health sectors personnel in VPD surveillance and immunization, disease outbreak investigation, active case search, data analysis and reporting and other support as needed.

Description of Duties (TOR)

Under the direct supervision of the Immunization Cluster Lead, with technical line of reporting to surveillance cluster lead and under the overall guidance of Medical Officer and Team Lead IPD, the SMO performs following functions.

1.Polio eradication

1.1. As per WHO and Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) guidelines, SMO will provide strategic technical assistance (TA) to support polio eradication activities within assigned area. This may also include maintaining liaison with Government staff, relevant professional and academic organizations, polio partners (e.g. UNICEF, Rotary etc.) and civil society organizations.

1.2. In collaboration with the Family Welfare Division (FWD), Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) of Department of Health Services, MoHP, and other related units at national and sub-national levels as appropriate, technically support acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance system maintaining surveillance sensitivity at or above international and regional standards in assigned areas. This would include the following minimum functions with active involvement of district counterparts:

1.2.1. Set-up and proactively liaise with a dynamic network of surveillance sites through regular surveillance site visits and/or active case searches to encourage prompt reporting, investigation, and sample collection from AFP cases.

1.2.2. To validate AFP case details through investigation of reported AFP cases as soon as possible after reporting.

1.2.3. Maintain up-to-date AFP case data and laboratory results and submit to the IPD central unit as per program guidelines. Analyse, interpret, and disseminate surveillance information for follow up actions.

1.3. Support planning, training, implementation, and evaluation of polio supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), including development of special strategies to reach target populations in high-risk or underserved areas.

1.4. In accordance with guidelines provided by WHO and Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), SMO will provide TA for capacity building to counterparts in government and private health sector as needed to support polio eradication activities within assigned area.

1.5. As instructed and coordinated by IPD central unit and with prior approval from IPD Central Office, work with counterparts across international borders for coordinated activities as required to achieve and sustain polio eradication.

2.Measles Rubella (MR) elimination

2.1. In accordance with guidelines provided by WHO and Ministry of Health and Population, SMO will provide TA to counterparts in government and private health sector as needed to support measles rubella elimination activities within assigned area. This will include liaising with appropriate technical networks and partners.

2.2. Building upon the established network for MR surveillance, establish a system for case based MR surveillance to achieve and maintain surveillance sensitivity at or above international standards and disseminate surveillance information as needed.

2.3. Support planning, training, implementation and evaluation of MR-SIA, including development of special strategies to reach target populations in high-risk or underserved areas.

2.4. In accordance with guidelines provided by WHO and Ministry of Health and Population, support as needed, any WHO accredited MR laboratories at sub-national level.

3.Control and elimination of other Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD)

3.1. Provide TA for surveillance, case investigation, immunization and all other activities related to control and elimination of other VPDs, especially Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and neonatal tetanus (NT), diphtheria, etc.

4.Support immunization

4.1. Provide TA to improve coverage for routine immunization. This will include but not limited to capacity building of programme managers and health workers, providing TA for new vaccine introduction as per policy, supporting micro-planning, assessing cold chain system and logistics systems,and monitoring and evaluation of routine immunization quality and coverage.

4.2. In consultation with IPD central unit, provide strategic TA to Full Immunization Declaration and other similar Government initiatives as needed.

4.3. Use available information from surveillance, immunization performance and other sources to identify high risk areas with low population-immunity or low coverage especially with regard to diseases targeted for elimination or eradication, so that appropriate response can be undertaken.

4.4 Provide technical support to the COVID-19 vaccination program including but not limited to TA for preparedness and implementation, capacity building and training, micro-planning, identifying areas of low coverages and providing technical support, supportive monitoring and feedback including at sessions sitse, and AEFI surveillance.

4.5 Provide technical support for planning, preparedness, implementation and follow-up of supplementary immunization activities including for nation-wide vaccination campaign, selected areas vaccination campaign, and outbreak response immunization, and achieve high coverages with quality implementation.

4.6 Provide TA for vaccine safety (AEFI surveillance) including supporting field investigation.

5.Cross cutting activities and outbreak support

5.1. Develop and maintain close working relationships with Health Office and Provincial Health Directorate as well as with other authorities and levels to support the National Immunization Program.

5.2. As needed, coordinate with other district level surveillance systems so that as far as possible, critical data items are reconciled between VPD surveillance and other surveillance systems for major VPDs.

5.3. On request from Health Office/District Health team support rapid response team (RRT) to investigate outbreaks as needed. Support in emergency response under guidance from central office.

6.Administrative & supervisory

6.1. As per IPD field office (FO) structure, directly supervise Administrative and Finance Assistant (AFA) , Driver and other temporary staff as deployed (eg: COVID TA)

6.2. Take up overall responsibility of the IPD FO and its assets and IPD FO imprest bank account and unit cash book (if assigned), with assistance from AFA.

6.3. Perform other administrative duties according to established WHO guidelines.

7. Perform other duties as assigned as per needs of the IPD programme including those activities as needed for polio transition. This includes duty travel or duty-station reassignment on short notice as per the program requirements.

Required Qualifications


Essential: Medical graduate from an institution recognized by Nepal Medical Council with valid registration in the Nepal Medical Council / Graduate degree in Western medicine (MBBS or equivalent) from recognized college or university.

Desirable: Post graduate qualification in one or more of the following disciplines or allied disciplines would be considered an asset: Paediatrics / Public Health / Epidemiology / Global or International Health / Community Medicine.


Essential: At least two years’ experience in Public Health or related work or a minimum of two years’ experience in Health Sector inclusive of at least one year’s experience in public health.


  • Experience of working with national or international immunization programs
  • Experience of working in national or international disease surveillance programmes
  • Demonstrated experience of supporting translation of policy to implementation and impact
  • Demonstrated experience in training/teaching/learning activities
  • Demonstrated experience in Public Health data analysis and related software.
  • Demonstrated experience in public health emergency response
  • Experience of working in the NGO/INGO sector or UN would be an asset

Functional Skill and knowledge:

Good interpersonal skills, able to work as a team member in a multi-cultural environment. Ability to travel within the country and to perform practical hands-on field work. Ability to participate actively and cooperatively in knowledge sharing and policy forums at various levels and also to coordinate with the GoN agencies. Good knowledge in vaccine, immunization and surveillance sector. Very good analytical skills including ability to collect and analyse technical data and information and to draw and present conclusions in written and spoken form. Very good writing skills in English, including ability to write clear and concise progress reports, analytical reports, plans and proposals.

Other Skills:

Proficiency in Microsoft Office: word processors, spreadsheets and other data processing, presentation programmes, Outlook and Internet and email is essential.

Proficiency in Statistical / Epidemiological Analysis software desired.

Able to follow instruction and work independently would be an asset.

WHO Competencies:

  • Producing Results
  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individuals and cultural differences
  • Communication in credible and effective way
  • Moving forward in a changing environment

Language: Excellent knowledge of written and spoken language skills in English and Nepali


Monthly Salary: (Net of tax) NPR 196,102.00 (Grade: SSA Level VIII) at single rate (taxable as per Nepal Government laws and functional modality will be through Special Services Agreement)

Duty Station: Any of the WHO-IPD Field Offices (across Nepal)

Additional information

  • This Vacancy Notice may be used to fill similar positions at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test and interviews will be used as a form of screening
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • This post is subject to local recruitment and will be filled by persons recruited in the local commuting area of the duty station.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
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  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Any extension of appointment would be subject to programmatic requirements, performance of the incumbent and availability of funds.
  • Qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply.
This vacancy is now closed.
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