The Government of Lesotho (GOL) has received a two-year funding from the World Bank to implement Lesotho Covid-19 Emergency Preparedness Response Project. The project aims to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by Covid-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. Two components have been identified to guide implementation of activities of the project. Component one deals with Emergency Covid-19 Response, and under this component the GOL will be supported to strengthen Covid-19 Case Detection, Confirmation, Contact Tracing, Recording and Reporting, Containment, Isolation and Treatment through enhanced Clinical Care Capacity; and Community Engagement, Prevention and Risk Communication.
Activities under this component will enhance disease surveillance through training of Village Health Workers and procurement of surveillance instruments, improve sample collection and transportation, and ensure rapid laboratory confirmed diagnoses through procurement of laboratory equipment and training of laboratory staff to promptly detect all potential Covid-19 cases and to carry out contact tracing to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the project will support renovation of Mafeteng Hospital to establish the critical care units and wards for Covid-19 patients. Component two of the project will strengthen monitoring and evaluation. Under this component support will be directed to the Covid-19 Incident Management System Co-ordination Structure, operational reviews and logistical support to the co-ordination structure during project implementation.
Using funding from this project, the PIU seeks to engage an epidemiologist to be based at the MOH-HQ – Project Implementation Unit. The epidemiologist will provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in building the capacity of the disease surveillance programme in responding to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The epidemiologist will provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in building the capacity of the disease surveillance programme in responding to the current Covid-19 pandemic. S/he will be responsible for creating and supporting epidemiological investigative work under the Project in collaboration with other key stakeholders. The epidemiologist will contribute to and/or co-ordinate the collection, validation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of Covid-19 surveillance data with the aim of guiding Government efforts in responding to the pandemic.
- Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance and supervision of the Project Co-ordinator, the epidemiologist will ensure that epidemiological investigative work under the Project is carried out as planned. S/he will forecast and model the progression of the pandemic, both in terms of new cases and deaths, as well as the economic impact of disease outbreaks under different scenarios. S/he will build the capacity of the Ministry of Health disease surveillance programme in responding to the current Covid-19 pandemic by carrying out the following:
- Contribute to and/or co-ordinate the collection, validation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of Covid-19 surveillance data with the aim of improving performance of the project and guiding GOL response to Covid-19 pandemic;
- Contribute to the strategic and day-to-day co-ordination of Covid-19 surveillance networks, including preparation, organisation and follow-up of meetings of project and other key stakeholders involved in implementation;
- Liaise with national and international bodies involved in the surveillance of Covid-19, including all ports of entry, in order to be up to date on all events related to Covid -19.
- Contribute to the strengthening and integration of epidemiological and laboratory surveillance of Covid-19 in Lesotho;
- Provide technical advice and direct support to the relevant authorities in monitoring and responding to Covid-19 pandemic in Lesotho;
- Support IHR to conduct real-time surveillance of outbreak prone diseases and other acute public health events;
- Co-ordinate and support routine descriptive epidemiology for monitoring of trends using alert and action thresholds; epidemic forecasting on Covid-19 in Lesotho;
- Conduct Trainings related to strengthening Covid-19 surveillance in Lesotho;
- Communicate routine Covid-19 surveillance data in a timely manner through high-quality reports and research findings through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific conferences;
- Co-ordinate and/or contribute to scientific studies supported under the project;
- Support Monitoring and evaluation activities under the project through provision of data for performance review, including evidence based target setting;
- Create routine statistical summary reports and present findings to stakeholders, maintain records and databases for the Lesotho Covid-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project;
- Participate in MOH–SI and Research meetings to present disseminate epidemiological reports supported by the project;
- Contribute to the production of rapid risk/outbreak assessments and public health emergencies as may be required under the project; and
- Support IHR towards achieving the IHR (2005) core capacities, including through intersectoral communication and co-ordination with key sectors/agencies such as port health authorities, animal health, food safety and biosecurity, and between public health and the curative health services as required under the IHR.
Qualifications and Experience
- Master’s degree in Public Health or Epidemiology, or a Master’s degree in social or health sciences, with additional field epidemiology training/ Epidemiology post graduate training
- At least five years’ experience in outbreak investigations and analysis
- At least five years’ experience in developing models for infectious diseases
- At least five years’ professional experience in disease surveillance and the IHR (2005).
- Extensive experience in data collection, validation, and analysis of communicable diseases at regional, national and/or international level)
- Experience in the monitoring and evaluation of health programs, including the design of surveys
- Familiarity with the research process for Lesotho, including obtaining research ethics approval for studies and an understanding of Lesotho’s patient data protection laws, would be ideal
- Proven experience in communicating scientific information to authorities, peers as well as to a wider audience, especially through oral presentations and by publishing scientific articles;
- Proven experience in using STATA or any software for epidemiological data analysis;
- Experience in the management of donor-funded projects at national, district and community level.
- Ability to work independently and be creative and innovative; integrity and ability to work in a team;
- Quality-driven and service-minded;
- Ability to work collaboratively and build strong working relationships;
- Excellent analytical skills;
- Results-oriented and ability to take initiative;
- Good mastery of standard computer applications: Microsoft Office Package; PowerPoint, STATA and/ or any software for epidemiological data analysis;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
- Must be result focused and be able to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
- Ability to think strategically and conduct dialogue on social development policies and priorities, while maintaining a strong sense of realism with regard to in-country conditions and competing demands for resources;
- Team player with strong leadership abilities: experience in working with large teams of people from different backgrounds; and
- Demonstrate ability to work independently with limited supervision on a wide range of social development activities, and achieving results.
The Epidemiologist will be reporting directly to the Project Co-ordinator.
The duration of the assignment shall be 18 months, subject to a probation period of four months and satisfactory performance. The Contract may be renewed based on need and satisfactory performance.
- Duty Station
The duty station shall be the Ministry of Health Head Office, Maseru, with frequent field visits to project sites.
Successful candidates will be offered a performance-based contract; subject to review after the first year with possibly of extension dependent on performance and availability of funds.
Interested and suitability qualified candidates should forward their applications indicating the advertisement and position on the subject line of letter and envelope, together with detailed curriculum vitae indicating work experience. (Day time telephone contacts, names and telephone contacts of three referees to reach the undersigned not later than June 18 2020) to:
Attn: Procurement Specialist
Procurement Unit, Ground Floor,
Ministry Of Health Headquarters,
Corner Constitution Road & Linare Road
P. O. Box 514,
Maseru 100, Lesotho,
Tel:(+266) 2732 3277
Email: [email protected]
Only shortlisted and successful candidates will be contacted within two weeks from submission deadline. If you do not receive a call and email from us consider application not successful.