World Health Organization (WHO)

Project Officer (Influenza)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

Purpose of consultancy

The purpose of this consultancy is to hire a consultant to perform the role of Project Officer, who will assist in administrative and logistic work related to the National Influenza Program of HPA and WHO. This includes handling samples received from the atolls, procurement of laboratory items, and contributing to all activities carried out by Public Health Preparedness, Surveillance, and Epidemiology division to implement the activities to support and strengthen Influenza surveillance in the Maldives, in line with the WHO Global Influenza Strategy.


Influenza occurs all over the world, with an annual global attack rate estimated at 5%-10% in adults and 20%-30% in children. Whereas in temperate climates outbreaks are experienced mainly during the winter season. influenza occurs more unpredictably in tropical regions (WHO, 2022). Acute Respiratory infections (ARls) account for the highest infectious disease burden in the Maldives, with 2 outbreaks on average in each over the past few years.

Maldives being a popular tourist destination and having extensive international travel among Maldivians as well, is in a unique position as a human 'mixing bowl' for influenza viruses. About 8,000 Maldivians travel to Saudi Arabia each year for Hajj and Umra pilgrimage. Pilgrims spend about one month on average in Saudi Arabia. Although we do not routinely collect data on illnesses during pilgrimage, there are verbal reports that the majority of pilgrims develop some form of respiratory illness during the period of stay, and most are symptomatic event on return. Pilgrims travelling for Hajj and Umra from Maldives are required to be vaccinated for influenza.

Influenza surveillance in Maldives is embedded in the common surveillance system for ARl's. The surveillance of influenza is not yet well established and is a long-awaited requirement for the communicable disease surveillance system. Henceforth, it is extremely important to build our national capacity to strengthen Influenza surveillance in the Maldives.

This proposal aims to continue the support for the routine influenza surveillance work carried out by the Health Protection Agency in collaboration with the national influenza lab and WHO. Since the beginning of surveillance activities in the Maldives, this activity was supported by the CDC and has been crucial to maintaining testing, Capacity Building, and reporting on WHO's FluNet and FlulD.

The main component of this request is to build capacity and maintain the human resources support to carryout surveillance activities in line with the Global influenza strategy (2019-30) in SEA region.

Scope of Work

  • Implementing influenza active surveillance in ADK, Hulhumale’ hospital and any other health facility where influenza surveillance is initiated
  • Serving as a liaison with laboratory staff and infection control practitioners for Data Collection
  • Involving the work associated with data entry, management and simple Analysis
  • Gathering and verifying demographic, laboratory, clinical, and exposure information on all cases of influenza and infection involving organisms under active surveillance
  • Transportation of samples from sentinel sites in Male’ to IGMH laboratory
  • Involvement in additional activities carried out by the project and the surveillance unit
  • Assist in organizing training workshops and other activities under the project
  • Disseminate influenza medicine to all the health facilities in Greater Male’ Area and atolls as requests are received
  • Update the Influenza medicine stock aligned with dispatch
  • Assist tasks related to incorporation of influenza testing into the Covid-19 web application
  • Meet with regular reporting requirements by CDC and WHO
  • Travel for trainings and inspections required – out of Male’
  • Contribute to all activities carried out Public Health Preparedness, Surveillance, and Epidemiology division
  • Any additional relevant work assigned by supervisor


  • Maintained regular surveillance to detect and respond to outbreaks
  • Ensure timely preparation and dissemination of results with the public health units every month.
  • Ensure influenza database is updated and verified every month.
  • Updated the Influenza medicine stock aligned with dispatch and maintenance of records monthly.
  • Assisted tasks related to incorporation of influenza testing into the Covid-19 web application.
  • Ensure timely transportation of samples from sentinel sites in Male' to IGMH laboratory.
  • Assisted in conducting/facilitating capacity building training for pandemic preparedness by implementing simulation exercises at 3 atolls.
  • Submit monthly progress reports and financial reports as required to WHO and HPA.
  • Regular reporting to WHO and CDC aligned with the requirements (Flunet, FluID, etc).

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:


  • Diploma in Primary Health Care, Public Health, Project Management, or Administration related field


  • Bachelor’s degree in Primary Health Care, Public Health, Project Management, or Administration related field


Master’s degree in Primary Health Care, Public Health, Project Management, or Administration related field



Minimum of 1-2 years’ experience in documentation, project management, and training relevant to Public Health and/or related fields.



  • Fluent computer skills in MS Excel/MS Access/MS PowerPoint is a must.
  • Skills at graphic designing will be an advantage
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and deliver of time along with excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work within given time period and deliver work on time with outstanding quality

Languages and level required (Basic/Intermediate/Advanced):

Excellent Fluency in spoken and written Dhivehi and English


On site: Health Protection Agency, Ministry of Health Maldives

Preference will be given to individuals based in the Maldives as this is a local consultancy


Travel maybe required as per the trainings and supervision and monitoring needs of the National Influenza Programme

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):

  • Remuneration: MVR 16,962 per month for 11 months duration of consultancy
  • Expected duration of contract: 11 months (February – December 2023)

Additional information:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/ diploma(s)/certificate(s) in English 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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  • Applications from women are encouraged.
  • 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.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • This assignment is subject to local recruitment and will be filled by persons recruited in the local commuting area of the duty station/assignment location.
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