In the WHO AFRO region, 46 out of 47 Member States have successfully introduced Covid-19 vaccines, with 24% of their total populations fully vaccinated. Seychelles, Mauritius, and Liberia have met and surpassed the 70% mid-2022 target. Drivers of low vaccine uptake in the African region include progressive reduction in risk perception, passive approaches to vaccination, using only health facility fixed sites and limited vaccines demand creation activities, limited political engagement, insufficient capacity to access available funding mechanisms or utilize funds secured, demotivated health workforce and limited use of data for decision making and Data Quality issues.
Furthermore, with Canada support, the AFRO region undertook gender and equity inclusion analyses of COVID-19 response plans for 43 countries (including 22 vaccination plans) in 2022. The analyses showed that in most countries, priority populations are most often defined based on physiological or occupational vulnerabilities with less emphasis on intersectional gender, equity human rights considerations.
Also in 2022, WHO identified 34 priority countries for enhanced support to accelerate COVID-19 within these countries with Malawi inclusive. To address the COVID-19 vaccine delivery gaps highlighted whilst ensuring equitable access to vaccines for high-risk groups and vulnerable groups, WHO Africa Regional Office with funding from a 2-year grant from Canada, will be
supporting integrated COVID-19 vaccine delivery approaches in 10 beneficiary countries including Malawi. This integrated approach will seek to enhance vaccine delivery and distribution, increase vaccine confidence, and generate demand with a focus on ensuring gender, equity, and human rights.
To ensure the effective implementation of the grant, there will be the need for enhanced collaboration between all stakeholders especially the donor to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to eighty (80%) of all high risk, vulnerable and priority groups within the project implementation sites.
Purpose of the Post:
The incumbent will be supportingImmunization under Emergency Preparedness and Response Pillar at the WHO Country Office which supports the achievement of a responsive emergency preparedness as part of broader efforts to strengthen primary health care and achieve universal health coverage, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Specifically, the incumbent will support Coordination of COVID-19 immunization activities within the emergency response pillar, guided by the Global Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA 2030), the National Strategic plan on Immunization (NSPI), the Addis Ababa Deceleration on Immunization targets including but not limited to facilitating coordinated approaches; proactively contributing to the development & adaptation of WHO strategies and policies; reviewing and adapting existing guidelines; conducting and contributing to Capacity Building activities, support the coordination and contribution to provide transformational leadership in the implementation of the UCN/VPD programme in the context of health emergency response.
This will include contributing to the development, implementation and monitoring of evidence-based policies and strategies related to COVID-19 and its integration into Primary Health Care, while supporting immunization/ VPD programmes and activities These activities will contribute to building and strengthening the capacity of the country to improve access to integrated health services for the population along the life course and achievement of targeted VPDs control, elimination, and eradication goals.This will be achieved in a context of strengthened and resilient health systems, contributing to attaining UHC and other health related SDG targets through proactive contribution to supporting governing bodies, technical working groups and advisory bodies, coordination with member states and partners.
The incumbent. duties include supporting the Ministry of Healthby; facilitating development of National COVID-19 Integration into Primary Health Care and Routine Immunisation Guidelinealigned with the Immunization Agenda 2030 and the National Strategic Plan on Immunization, monitoring implementation ofannual operational plans, coordinating innovative approaches and strategies for COVID-19 deployment ; proactively contributing to the development of strategies and policies, including reviewing and adapting existing guidelines; supporting strengthening of governing bodies and technical advisory groups, coordination with partners; conducting and contributing to capacity building activities.
Under the overall direction of the WHO Country Representative and supervision by the EPR pillar lead, the incumbent as an Immunization expert who will lead, and facilitate, the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in the development, implementation, and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine deployment strategies, polices, plans, programmes, and interventions to reduce the burden of COVID-19 and other VPDs towards attainment of UHC and the SDGs in the WHO African Region.
The incumbent will facilitate coordinated and integrated approaches contributing to the needs of the country. S/he will oversee capacity building and training based on technical norms, standards, best practices, and Standard Operating Procedures. S/he will have delegated authority to establish and accomplish work goals, identify problems, and provide broad guidance for resolving challenges and for possible redesign of existing policies and integration of such policies into other programme areas within the framework of WHO Staff Rules and Regulations, financial rules, and AFRO accepted procedures.
Contacts - The incumbent collaborates with the UHC/LC, EPR and UHC/HP Clusters to build strong and resilient health systems for preventing, controlling, eliminating, or eradicating communicable and non-Communicable Diseases to reduce their burden and contribute to the triple billion targets of the GPW13 and progress towards achieving UHC and the SDGs. S/he continually collaborates in cross-Cluster work and task teams to achieve organizational results.
Duties require ongoing contacts and consultation within EPR and UHC in the Regional Office, ISTs, and WHO/HQ as well as staff in Country Offices as appropriate, to promote cross-cutting activities and ensure full collaboration and coordination of activities.
Successful results also involve regular contacts to establish and strengthen communication and partnerships with national and regional officials, health professionals, representatives of multi- and bilateral agencies as required, including for resource mobilization and evidence guided advocacy. The coordination includes supporting the National Immunization working groups, National Immunization technical Advisory Groups, regional Immunization Technical Advisory Groups including and based on need coordination with academia, intergovernmental organizations and institutions and NGOs.
Summary of Assigned Duties (Describe what the incumbent has to do to achieve main objectives; include main achievements expected):
The incumbent contributes to the following:
<-- [if supportLists]-->1.<--[endif]-->Set up/strengthen coordination mechanisms in each country including decentralization to sub-national levels of coordination (“IMS like coordination mechanism for vaccination”) to oversee micro-planning, operational support, vaccine demand and delivery.
<-- [if supportLists]-->2.<--[endif]-->Working with other partners, coordinate the operational support and logistics for vaccine delivery including but not limited to the deployment of mobile teams to vaccinate older adults, health workers, people with comorbidities, according to country polities for priority groups.
<-- [if supportLists]-->3.<--[endif]-->Engagement of in-country operational partners (NSA, CSOs and CBOs) with the aim of increasing vaccine uptake in high priority groups in accordance with the WHO SAGE prioritization roadmaps
<-- [if supportLists]-->4.<--[endif]-->Identify new and strengthen existing partnerships in COVID-19 vaccination, documentation and learning with involvement of regional, national, and sub-national partners
<-- [if supportLists]-->5.<--[endif]-->Strengthening of Integrated Disease Surveillance Reporting given the wearying in surveillance following interruptions during the pandemic which has made it difficult to not only detect but integrate COVID-19
<-- [if supportLists]-->6.<--[endif]-->Support Integration of COVID19 vaccination services into primary health care, including at clinics for patients living with HIV, tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
<-- [if supportLists]-->7.<--[endif]-->Support the Mainstreaming and integration of gender responsive, equity driven, and human rights focused interventions that promote leave no one behind including in recruitment processes
<-- [if supportLists]-->8.<--[endif]-->Visible and functional partners coordination mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccines rollout established in the target localities inclusive of CSOs and Community Engagement
<-- [if supportLists]-->1.<--[endif]-->Knowing and managing yourself
<-- [if supportLists]-->2.<--[endif]-->Fostering integration and teamwork
<-- [if supportLists]-->3.<--[endif]-->Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
<-- [if supportLists]-->4.<--[endif]-->Ensuring the effective use of resources
For all Positions that possess managerial/supervisory responsibilities, an additional mandatory Management Competency is required. Is this a Supervisory Position? No
Functional Knowledge and Skills (Describe the essential knowledgeandthe skills specific to the position)
Within the context of the immunization agenda 2030 and the AFR Regional Immunization Strategic Plans, the candidate is expected to have demonstrated knowledge of routine immunization programmes, vaccine preventable diseases and global health. Proven ability to think independently and strategically plan, coordinate and implement routine immunization activities, including norms and standards for vaccines management and related capacity building; coordination of the demand generation for immunization services, monitoringandreportingonresults,progress,lessonslearntandobstacles.Provenunderstandingof routine immunization as related to preventable diseases including case-based surveillance, Integrated Disease surveillance (IDSR) and International Health Regulations (IHR) as well how to achieve universal Health coverage (UHC). Proven track record in the development and implementation of norms and standards and effective reporting mechanisms and systems, and M&E.
Excellent communication and presentation skills with ability to write in a clear and concise manner and give technical advice and guidance taking into consideration the views of multiple stakeholders and partners in resource-limited contexts; and to participate in resource mobilization and advocacy activities. Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to promote consensus,
communicate progress and results, and resolve issues in a proactive manner, while ensuring effective work practices and ethics. Diplomacy, tact and courtesy.
Essential:Degree in medicine with post-graduate degree/training in public health, complementedbypost-graduatetraininginepidemiologywithspecializationininfectiousdiseases or communicable diseases.
Desirable: Specializationin epidemiology, vaccinology, immunology, infectious diseases.
Essential:Minimum of at least five (5) years in public health and/ or communicable disease control and a minimum of one (1) year in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination introduction and deployment plan and Data Management.
Previous experience in COVID-19 introduction and vaccine roll-out.
Proven experience working in multi-stakeholder settings
Experience in new vaccines introduction and vaccination in health emergencies situation.
Experience with WHO or other agencies in the United Nations system would be an asset.
Proven skills in writing strategic planning proposals, monitoring the implementation of public health
Conduct of programs like mass vaccination.
Demonstrated knowledge of the principles, practices, methods, and techniques of immunization
Good understanding of public health systems, immunization programs and public health emergency Management Systems.
Ability to work as a team under tight deadlines and work in a multicultural environment.
Demonstrated experience of working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.
Working Languages: Excellent knowledge of English
4. Use of Language Skills
Other Skills (e.g., IT)
Proven ability to use standard office software packages, Conversant with common IT software.