Friday, Oct 23, 2020

COVID-19 Response in East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Union of the Comoros

IGAD Component

AfDB Project ID: P-Z1-IB0-026

Terms of Reference

Position: Project Health Expert

Reports to: Director Health and Social Development

Duty station: Djibouti with frequent travel in the IGAD region

Tenure of appointment: One year (or the remaining period of the project) with possible extension based on the satisfactory performance and availability of funds

Deadline for application: On or before 7 November, 2020

Context and Purpose of the Assignment

The overall objective of the Project is to reduce the incidence and mortality in the East Africa, Horn of Africa and the Union of the Comoros, due to COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks. The Project specific objectives are: (i) increase support for infection prevention and control plus case management; (ii) strengthen health system and epidemiological surveillance; and (iii) improve regional coordination and strategic guidance to the beneficiary countries. The Project objectives will be executed in line with the beneficiary countries’ COVID-19 Response and Preparedness  Plans  whose  priority activities  are:  surveillance,  case  management,  laboratory testing, risk communication and community engagement, and coordination and leadership. 

The Project Components: The Project consists of the following components: (1) Component One: Containing the Spread of COVID-19: This Component, to be implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO), will enhance capacity of Eastern and Horn of Africa countries to rapidly screen, test, diagnose and manage confirmed cases of COVID-19. The WHO will: (i) support procurement and distribution of disease surveillance and  monitoring tools including thermal scanners, respiratory hygiene monitors and infrared thermometers; (ii) support procurement and distribution of infection-control supplies including personal protective equipment such as respirators, masks, gloves, coveralls; and (iii) support health systems strengthening by equipping laboratories with testing kits, reagents, equipment and supplies; to effectively manage confirmed cases. (2) Component 2: Strengthening regional coordination and surveillance This Component will be jointly implemented by IGAD and EAC to support the IGAD and EAC secretariats on regional interventions to harness coordination, contain cross border transmissions and safeguard cross-border trade flows and cargo crews.

IGAD and EAC have undertaken a mapping of their respective Project areas (cross-border sites). The activities to be implemented by IGAD, in the IGAD Project Areas, under this component include: (i) convening regional coordination meetings with IGAD and EAC as co -Chairs on alternate  basis;  (ii)  establishing  of IGAD  health  emergency  unit  to  respond  to  the  disease outbreaks; (iii) training of border officials and provision of protective gear to strengthen cross border screening, active surveillance and case detection This will cover truck drivers, crews and border communities to reduce cross border infection spread; and (iv) strengthening the regional surveillance system through operationalization of Digital Covid-19 Surveillance Tracker at IGAD Secretariat and the Partner States health ministries in the IGAD Project Areas. (3) Component 3: Project management and regional coordination. This component will cover WHO’s Operating costs and provide support to EAC and IGAD for operational expenses, monitoring and evaluation and Project audit. 

Therefore and through support of the AfDB, IGAD requires a services of a senior, health expert for the project to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (Regional Coordination Unit) to coordinate COVID-19 response in IGAD Region focusing on cross border areas, as well as to ensure the coordination and support the implementation of the activities that will be executed by WHO under AfDB project. 

Responsibilities and Functions 

Under overall guidance of the Director of Health and Social Development and in close coordination with COVID-19 response project coordinator, the expert will facilitate implementation of the project and support WHO in the implementation on the ground. The expert will ensure that coordination activities are carried out and that there is regular progress in the Coordination Component.  More specifically he or she will:

  • Be in charge and guide the day to day implementation of the project as per the AfDB- IGAD agreements and workplans
  • Facilitate implementation of coordination activities of the project with WHO, EAC and IGAD member states as well as working closely with the Regional Coordination Unit and using the national coordination arrangements;
  • Coordinate and follow up health response capacity and continuity of essential health services in selected sites with the collaboration of WHO;
  • Coordinate and follow-up specific project activities implemented in the selected IGAD cross border areas;
  • In line with the component objectives, identify potential areas or activities supporting much for targeted population (cross border and vulnerable group);
  • Maintain continuous relationships with the health ministries or other ministries responsible for disease outbreak and health emergencies in IGAD countries and be knowledgeable of all health emergency guidelines and protocols/ polices in these countries;
  • Work closely with CFPs and other emergency coordination unit staff to actively participate in the preparations of the implementation plans and budgets for the project components;
  • Participate in the process of verifying the technical implementation of activities on ground;
  • Initiate and strengthen networks with relevant partners, processes and mechanisms to strengthen the regional coordination role of IGAD for emergency response for COVID-19;
  • Ensure timely convening of the regional steering committee meetings in coordination with the WHO and EAC;
  • Maintain institutional linkages between the IGAD Secretariat and similar initiatives to address COVID-19 including EAC, Africa CDC and RCC;
  • Ensure that data, information, and reports will come timely and will satisfy the monitoring needs of the project;
  • Monitor the progress of project activities and prepare regular progress reports on the IGAD regional coordination component and present to the Project Steering Committee
  • Draft and submit the needed donor reports as per AfDB requirements

Qualifications and Skills:

The health expert should be a highly knowledgeable person on Health programs as well as national

health policies and cross border health settings. In addition, He/she should possess the following skills and competencies:

  • Master degree in Health System/Policy, public health, epidemiology, international and global health and any other similar health related degree
  • Technical experience in diseases emergences services and response preparedness;
  • Knowledge of health emergencies, disaster management, early warning and laboratory services issues; Solid knowledge and understanding of key Health challenges in IGAD Region and its Member States
  • Experience in health programs and cross border health settings
  • Excellent drafting and reporting skills; communication and negotiating skills; and planning and organizational skills;
  • Excellent oral, written communication, good interpersonal skills and facilitation skills
  • Good analytical and report writing skills
  • Knowledge of, and involvement in, programs implemented by regional and international organizations such as WHO, IOM, African Union and others are highly desirable
  • Excellent communication in English, French is added value
  • Good computer literacy

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should send their applications in PDF format enclosed with a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, Academic documents and other certificates; and three reference persons including the last employer.

The application should be sent by Email to the following addresses:

Email address:  recruThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   with subject line ‘Project Health Expert – HSD - AfDB Project ID: P-Z1-IB0-026’.

Due to the large number of inquiries we expect to receive; only successful candidates who meet the required experience & qualifications for this position will be contacted. Contact: +25321354050