The Technical Officer, Health Security and Event-based Surveillance will contribute to the development of country level strategies aimed at strengthening International Health Regulations (IHR) related activities within the Prevent Epidemics Team at Resolve to Save Lives and the Rapid Mortality Surveillance (RMS) team at Vital Strategies through working with national and subnational stakeholders. Additionally, the incumbent will provide technical support for the implementation of the event-based surveillance (EBS) system at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and support capacity building of EBS at the sub-national levels in selected states. This position will be based in Abuja with some limited travel to the field. The Technical Officer will report to the Country Representative in the Nigeria Office. They will receive technical supervision from the Senior Technical Advisor (Prevent Epidemics) at the RTSL HQ.
International Health Regulations (IHR)
- Support the review and implementation of health security assessment tool deployed to assess health security capacities at the sub-national level
- Facilitate the conduct of sub-national level assessment using the adapted health security assessment tool and identify priority areas for improvement across states
- Provide technical assistance to the responsible persons within the IHR National Focal Point to ensure national compliance with the provisions of the International Health Regulations (2005)
- Build capacity of technical teams at the national and state levels to ensure consistent implementation of the health security assessments at sub-national level
- Liaise with relevant government officials and partners on a continuous basis to ensure coordination, identification, and development of strategies to resolve capacity gaps for the successful planning, implementation and strengthening of health security capacities in Nigeria especially at the sub-national level
- Provide technical leadership to support the use of the health assessment tool and other IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks at sub-national level
- Support the execution of strategies and initiatives to fully implement the National Action Plan on Health Security (NAPHS) and the recommendations from the mid-term Joint External Evaluation (JEE) conducted in 2019
Event-based Surveillance (EBS)
- Support the coordination and implementation of NCDC’s event-based surveillance activities, including media scanning, event verification, risk assessment, report writing, and report dissemination.
- Strengthen the capacities of event based surveillance teams at the state and LGA Level in the RTSL supported states for the effective and sustained surveillance of epidemic prone diseases through capacity building on field investigation, detection, data management, and rapid response to epidemics and health outbreaks in line with the integrated disease surveillance and response system (IDSR)
- Facilitate the development of guidelines, tools, and indicators for effective disease surveillance at the national, subnational and community levels based on established national guidelines
- Enable the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) including participation in the process of verification and risk assessment on reported public health events
- Promote the effective coordination for rapid assessment, surveillance, and response activities for epidemic-prone diseases at national and sub-national levels and ensure timeliness of response to outbreaks
- Provide technical guidance for the management of a unified information system (e.g. SitAware) to ensure availability of core EBS data and other information on surveillance-related technical areas such as: case incidence; case management surveillance data; laboratory surveillance data; contact tracing, etc.
Mortality Surveillance (Routine and Rapid MS)
- Coordinate the development of a mortality surveillance reporting mechanism linked to the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) reporting system
- Facilitate the identification and active dissemination of best-practice guidance for the implementation of Mortality Surveillance in the country and maintain situational awareness of evolving issues
- Coordinate communication with VS/RTSL internal teams and external stakeholders with interest in mortality surveillance, civil registrations and vital statistics in Nigeria
- Map, identify and engage stakeholders and partners with linkages to mortality surveillance, civil registration & vital statistics reporting in the country as well as partners from external agencies and represent Vital Strategies at RMS technical events and meetings
QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
- MBBS / MD with at least four years’ experience working on surveillance and health security or public health program implementation at the national level or other health related qualification with a Master’s in Public Health and at least six years’ experience implementing public health programs
- Further training in epidemiology, postgraduate training in community medicine or public health will be an advantage
- Experience working on communicable diseases and responding to outbreaks locally and internationally.
- Demonstrated knowledge of technical and programmatic aspects of the international health regulations, indicator or event-based surveillance for infectious diseases and epidemic prone diseases
- Proven ability to identify and quickly address challenges or obstacles
- Training and/or technical support provision experience
- Demonstrated experience in tools and/or guidance development
- Strong data analytical skills
- Demonstrated experience managing partnerships
- Exceptional inter-personal skills and ability to communicate and work effectively with policy makers, government officials, stakeholders, and partners at the national and state levels
- Solid report writing skills
- Excellent communication and presentation skills
- Willingness and ability to travel to program sites.