Medical Officer / Focal Point (VPD/IST, ESA)

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Medical Officer / Focal Point (VPD/IST, ESA)

  • Post Date:November 29, 2022
  • Views 541
0 Applications
  • Career Level Officer
    Qualification Degree
    Experience 10-15 Years
  • Industry Health Care
Job Description

About World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.

Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.

WHO strives to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.

WHO helps mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. They ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.

Their goal is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being.

You can find further details on their website

Role purpose

The incumbent will lead the WHO AFRO response to prevalent VPDs in the Eastern and South African (ESA) sub-region with a focus on contributing to the attainment of the 2030 SDGs targets for VPDs in the region. Specifically, the incumbent will provide transformational leadership in the development and implementation of the UCN/VPD programme. This will include contributing to the development and country implementation of appropriate VPD and collaborative initiatives towards the UCN. Further, the incumbent will facilitate coordination for the implementation of regional policies, strategies, programmes and activities in constituent member states. These activities will contribute to building and strengthening the capacity of countries to improve access to integrated health services for VPDs. This will be achieved in a context of strengthened and resilient health systems, contributing to attaining UHC and other health related SDG targets.

The incumbent will lead the VPD Team in the sub-region in promoting a cohesive approach and driving integration of appropriate VPD interventions along with other communicable and noncommunicable diseases interventions, into national health systems of member states. Population sub-groups will be targeted across the life course. S/he will be responsible for initiating and sustaining collaboration with the other UHC/UCN sub-regional, multi-country or regional teams and with the UHC/LC, UHC/HP, EPR and ARD clusters for developing tools and approaches to ensure coordinated and integrated guidance, capacity building and technical support for integrated delivery of VPDs services in countries. In keeping with the goal of promoting working across organizational boundaries, the incumbent will engage in cross-cluster collaboration to drive integration of appropriate interventions across disease specific programmes into district health systems using people-centred approaches. S/he will also mobilize partnerships with national and sub-regional institutions, including academia, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector and with international partners and regional technical resource networks for concerted actions and financial resources within countries and in the region.

Organizational Context

Context – Under the overall guidance of UCN Cluster Director, and direct supervision of VPD Team Lead in the Regional Office, within the scope defined by the global and regional immunization agenda 2030, regional policy guidelines and programmes objectives, the incumbent serves as focal point for all VPD country support activities in the sub-region, overseeing the technical work of the immunization officers at IST level with particular attention on the review and updating of existing immunization strategies and guidelines as required and recommending new initiatives; coordinating the provision of technical support to countries; facilitating coordinated approaches to effective programme management and implementation; leading the work of the VPD/IST ESA Team in advocacy and resource mobilization; developing and managing work plans and budgets within the framework of WHO Staff Rules and Regulations, financial rules and AFRO accepted procedures. Within WHO framework, the incumbent will be guiding, coaching, motivating, and managing staff, and proactively resolving problems while promoting teamworuk.

Contacts – Duties require ongoing contacts and consultation within the VPD programme and throughout the UCN Cluster in the Regional Office, as well as staff at IST ESA and in Country Offices as appropriate, to promote cross-cutting activities and ensure full collaboration and coordination, as well as capacity building activities. Successful results also involve regular contacts to establish and strengthen communication and partnerships with national and sub-regional officials, health professionals, representatives of multi- and bilateral agencies as required, including for resource mobilization and advocacy, academia, inter-governmental organizations and institutions and NGOs; within the delegated authority, the incumbent represents VPD/UCN at sub-regional and national meetings on immunization related activities.

Duties and Responsibilties

The incumbent is expected to contribute towards:

Leadership on disease control coordination, partnerships, and resource mobilization through:

  • Building and coordinating a competent and committed team of VPD experts in the development and implementation of strategic and operational initiatives for VPDs control, elimination and/or eradication in the sub-region;
  • Developing and/or maintaining partnerships on VPDs with relevant bodies in the sub-region including appropriate Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
  • Advancing sub-regional VPDs advocacy, resource mobilization and optimization of VPDs investment efficiency;
  • Conceptualizing, formulating, implementing and monitoring bold strategic initiatives on VPDs in the sub-region;
  • Developing annual “Sub-Regional Disease Outlook” independently or as part of a regional enterprise.

Development of WHO disease control technical products, services, and tools through:

  • Contributing to discussions on priority VPDs Target Product Profiles based on identified country and sub-regional disease control needs;
  • Strengthening research and innovation that contribute evidence for developing and/or deploying WHO VPDs products and services in the sub-region;
  • Coordinating the development and dissemination of scientific papers on VPDs as well as multiyear reports on VPDs in the sub-region;
  • Supporting evaluation of interventions and tools to inform deployment or enhanced deployment of WHO VPDs technical products and tools in the sub-region;

Generation of analytics-driven strategic information for disease control agenda setting and interventions tailoring through:

  • Monitoring socio-political and health situations in member states, facilitating political and social analysis for health action in the sub-region;
  • Supporting development of capacities for analytics to drive VPDs and other diseases control agenda setting and to guide investments; advocating and supporting use of triangulated data on disease occurrence (incidence and mortality), interventions coverage, health services access, determinants information, to developed tailored national policies and operational responses in member states of the sub-region;
  • Mainstreaming of GER in VPDs service delivery in the sub-region;
  • Supporting surveillance systems strengthening and tracking of biological and other threats using available VPDs tools and interventions and using the same information for threat containment in member states of the sub-region.

Technical support and institutional capacity building for disease control support through:

  • Disseminating VPDs technical products and tools in the region, advocating for their rapid deployment in member states of the subregion and in accordance with WHO guidance and local contexts;
  • Facilitating appropriate technical support in the implementation of WHO VPDs technical products and services in the sub-region, including guidance on comprehensive, whole of society approaches, as well as people-centered and integrated approaches to VPDs and disease control investing;
  • Coordinating investment of VPDs and other disease programme resources in strengthening health services delivery platforms to deliver optimally for disease control in the sub-region;
  • Mapping and prioritizing institutions and capabilities in member states of the sub-region for the purpose of WHO capacity institutional capacity strengthening towards domesticating provision of technical, operational research, analytics and training support to member states of the sub-region under WHO oversight, for
  • VPDs and other priority diseases; contributing to managing partnerships and collaborations with the prioritized institutions and to strengthening their capacities;
  • Strengthening WHO collaboration with the national public health institutes (NPHI) in member states of the sub-region and specialized networks on VPDs, with the aim of facilitating coherence and collaboration;
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Functional Knowledge and Skills

  • Extensive experience in thought leadership, problem solving approaches, and use of the logical framework in health programme development;
  • Extensive knowledge of policies, strategies and programme interventions related to VPD with broad practical knowledge of related programmes, policies and strategies and their application in developing and developed countries;
  • Proven leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which should include the implementation of VPD control programmes;
  • Demonstrated expertise in strategic and multisectoral planning; research; performance monitoring, as applied to programmes and reporting; extensive knowledge and skills in use of data and information for decision-making and strategic planning; track record of recognizing and addressing changing conditions;
  • Working knowledge of WHO rules and procedures, mandates, strategies and action plans (global, regional and country-specific);
  • Budgeting and financial management; partnership and resource mobilization; communication and people management;
  • Ability to exercise leadership and to work effectively with colleagues at national and international levels.

Education, Qualifications & Experience

  • Essential: A minimum of ten (10) years’ progressive experience in developing, designing and implementing public health programmes, including VPDs especially in vaccine development, planning, implementation and/or M&E of immunization programmes, with a minimum of 5 years inclusive at the international level in Low and/or Middle-Income countries;
  • Experience in overseeing implementation, review and updating existing strategies and guidelines and recommending new initiatives;
  • Experience in resources mobilization and working with variety of partners at international level;
  • Experience in facilitating coordinated approaches to effective programme management and implementation;
  • A track record of research, with publications at senior authorship level in academic journals.
  • Experience in epidemiology, and disease control in Africa combined with a sound understanding of the requirements of major immunization partnerships


  • Advanced university degree in medicine or health-related science with post-graduate degree in public health
  • Post-graduate training in epidemiology or social science is a plus.


  • Expert level in English communication and written skills
  • Intermediate level in French and Portuguese languages


  • Proven ability to use standard office software packages, Conversant with common IT software including eHealth tools.

Role Location: Harare, Zimbabwe.
Terms of Appointment: This is a full-time position with a fixed term contract of two years.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form by clicking the APPLY NOW tab on or before 30 November 2022. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected]

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by World Health Organization AFRO (WHO AFRO) to undertake this assignment