World Health Organization (WHO)

Epidemiologist (Infectious Diseases Control)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description


The mission of WHO's Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Programme is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. Within EPR, the Emergency Preparedness Unit, specifically the Infectious Hazard preparedness team supports countries and coordinates international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies. In order to contributeto the reduction of communicable and non-communicable disease morbidity and mortality in the WHO African region, the Infectious Hazard Preparedness team (IHP), within the Emergency Preparedness pillar (EMP) supports Member States in scaling up the implementation and monitoring of the integrated surveillance and response strategy and International Health Regulations, developing and maintaining the capacity to detect, confirm, and respond to epidemic and pandemic prone diseases as well as other public Health Emergencies, including influenza.


Within the Emergency Preparedness Unit, specifically the Infectious Hazard Preparedness team the purpose of this post is to contribute to the strengthening of the regional capacity to detect and monitor influenza epidemics/pandemics. She/he will support Member States to coordinate implementation of the PIP framework Partnership Contribution Plan for the African region and other initiatives to build resilient capacities in countries for respiratory pathogens.


Under the technical guidance of the Technical Officer (Infectious Hazard Preparedness/Avian Influenza) and the overall supervision of the Emergency Preparedness Programme Manager and the Regional Emergencies Director, the incumbent will be expected to perform the following duties:

1. Coordinate implementation of the activities under Outputs 1, 2 and 6 of the PIP High Level Implementation Plan II (HLIP II) of regional and country PIP PC workplans;

2. Provide technical guidance and support to countries on respiratory Disease Surveillance, such as influenza, SARS CoV-2, RSV, including training activities, where appropriate:

3. Support the updating of country Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan and provide guidance to countries in updating and monitoring their pandemic influenza preparedness and response plan;

4. Strengthen the regional capacity for detection of respiratory disease outbreaks, including those due to a novel virus using epidemiological surveillance methodologies;

5. Coordinate the development of best practices on influenza epidemiological surveillance and response in the African Region and ensure all relevant materials pertaining to influenza preparedness and response (reports, plans, SOPs and other information products) are available for Member States:

6. Any other duties that may be assigned by the supervisor (s).



Essential: University degree in medicine or related field such as epidemiology or infectious diseases.

Desirable: Master’s level qualifications in public health or training/experience in infectious Disease Control, epidemiology or emergency/Disaster Management.



  • At least 5 years of experience in surveillance, preparedness and response of infectious diseases and the implementation of public health projects, building capacities at international level.
  • Experience in the management of complex projects with partners.


  • Experience working in WHO or the UN system.
  • Experience working in in Low and Middle Income settings (LMI).


  • Ability to work with national Ministries of health on planning, implementing and monitoring of surveillance programmes;
  • Good knowledge and technical expertise in Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response and with an emphasis on influenza and other respiratory pathogens;
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills. Excellent organizational and analytical skills, complemented by good interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Effective writing skills and ability to draft, evaluate and edit technical reports and publications.

WHO Competencies

  1. Teamwork
  2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  3. Communication
  4. Producing results
  5. Building and Promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond.

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English is required.

Desirable: Working knowledge of another WHO official language is an asset.


WHO offers staff in the Professional Category an attractive remuneration package, which for the above position includes an annual net base salary starting at 62.692 USD (Pretoria, South Africa ), (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable).

Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • 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.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other Duty Stations are encouraged to apply.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • 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 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.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.
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