Consultant – Field Epidemiologists for Environmental and VPDs Surveillance, Freetown, Sierra Leone

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO Freetown


Field Epidemiologists for Environmental and VPDs Surveillance

( 2300614 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 3 Months

Job Posting: Jan 24, 2023, 6:59:28 AM




As part of the revised strategy for Polio eradication in Africa, GPEI partners are seeking to place consultants to provide technical support and assist with in-country capacity building for polio outbreak response, AFP surveillance and other polio special programs (e. g. e-Surveillance, Multi-Disease Monitoring tool) in African countries in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, WHO, UNICEF, CDC, and other PEI partners. These efforts will take place at the national, provincial, and district levels, as needed.

cVDPV2 polio outbreak response activities are implemented by the Africa Rapid Response Team (RRT) and overseen by the RRT coordinator based at the WHO AFRO Regional office. Consultants working on surveillance specifically in non-outbreak countries as well as those working on special projects (ex. e-Surv) will be coordinated by relevant teams at the regional office.

While consultants supporting outbreak response in countries remain independent from the institution they were contracted from, they will all be under the responsibility of the country GPEI coordinator for Polio outbreak response and surveillance. Consultants will report to him/her through the accountability framework put in place in the country and at each provincial and district levels.

An accountability framework will accompany these ToRs to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the mechanisms and indicators to be used to monitor the quality of the support provided by each consultant.

This document outlines the Terms of Reference for consultants’ deployment to provincial and district levels. The main role of the consultants deployed at the district level is to ensure that Post-Polio response interventions and activities are implemented on time and of good quality and that polio surveillance is of sufficient quality as per the GPEI standards.

Activities may include the following: Improving the quality of the Polio or other Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) outbreak response

o Preparation-Coordination-Supervision of the response

▪ Sitting at the district public health authority premises and being a full-time member of the district immunization/VPDs (Polio) team

▪ Participate in all VPDs outbreak response planning meetings

o Use of appropriate vaccine

▪ Contribute to the distribution of advocacy and communication material to ensure that all levels of the immunization system are well informed about the vaccine to be used.

▪ Liaise with UNICEF and other partners to ensure that communication and advocacy meetings take place with community leaders.

▪ Enhance sensitivity and quality of Polio/other VPDs and AEFI to detect events.

o SIAs planning, implementation and monitoring for VPDs outbreak response

▪ Provide information to the Polio/VPDs Provincial teams for the Risk assessment and the response scope definition

▪ Actively follow up the Planning of SIAs using the official preparedness dashboard (including for HR and financial items)

▪ Ensure that GIS and micro plans data are used at districts levels for the SIAs planning especially in high-risk populations, especially nomadic, displaced and migrant populations at border crossings, marketplaces, IDP/refugee camps and the islands, and for estimation of target population and coverage

▪ Work closely with district teams to ensure micro plans are updated at team and sub-district levels at least 7 days before the campaign starts

▪ Participate in all pre-campaign activities (training, microplanning, logistics) and regularly report to the provincial EOC on the implementation status

▪ During the SIAs, daily monitoring of the vaccinator’s teams and team supervisors and conduct household surveys (in process monitoring)

▪ Conduct daily review meetings at the district level to review administrative, monitoring, and vaccine management data, discuss challenges and propose solutions for subsequent days’ activities

▪ Careful monitoring of vaccine vials distributed and retrieved; ensure reporting of any missing vials immediately to the provincial level

▪ Analyze the SIAs quality data during the campaigns to propose immediate corrective actions (e.g. mop-up), ensuring proper documentation and follow-up of missed children are done

▪ Contribute to the consistent implementation of the SIAs monitoring tools

▪ Review monitoring data (in-process, end-process, LQAS…) and propose corrective actions

▪ Conduct post-campaign review meeting where investigation of LQAS failed lots should be discussed

▪ Troubleshoot any issues or bottlenecks as they occur

Strengthening Polio Surveillance

o AFP Surveillance

▪ Provide support to ensure rapid AFP/other VPDs case investigations and distribution of report to provincial and national levels.

▪ Conduct regular review of surveillance data (including from eSurv, ulti-Disease Tool, and NGOs…)

▪ Provide feedback, supervision, mentorship and training on surveillance to the health care centres staff

▪ Actively follow up that VPDs/AFP cases samples to ensure they are shipped to the provincial capital or National level respecting the time limits recommended by international standards

▪ Relating to eSURV, ensure that all priority reporting sites have been mapped/prioritized and are available to the Regional GIS Centre

o Environmental surveillance (ES)

▪ Regularly supervise and monitor activities of Environmental Sites within districts of assignment.

▪ In case of expansion, ensure selection of sampling sites meets international requirements and verify that samples are taken on a regular basis respecting the processes

▪ Ensure that the country is using the AFRO eData tools for site characterization, blue line collection, and specimen collection

▪ Provide feedback to ES sample collectors and provide them with lab results


▪ Check on vaccine management and communications-related issues and alert the UNICEF teams as needed.

▪ Any other surveillance or programme-related activities as may be assigned by the GPEI Coordinator.

WHO competencies

  • Communicating in a credible and effective way
  • Fostering integration and teamwork
  • Moving forward in a changing environment
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

Functional Skills and Knowledge (Describe skills and knowledge specific to the post):

  • Familiarity with coordination of public health/EPI/VPDs surveillance interventions.
  • Strong statistical and analytical skills
  • Strong verbal and oral communication skills

  • Ability to travel in-country. Knowledge of or previous work in implementing districts would be an advantage
  • Knowledge of local languages would also be an advantage

Required qualifications



  • A University Degree in public health or related field such as Community Health, social sciences.


  • A master’s degree in public health, training on implementation of SIAs (e.g. Polio NIDs, MR), training on AFP surveillance or AVADAR would be an advantage.

WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an accredited institution. The list can be accessed through this link: (link)



  • Minimum 5 years of experience in EPI/PEI activities or similar roles in a government or non-governmental organization concerned with public health management
  • Experience in AFP/Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) Surveillance, immunization programs, and supplementary immunization campaign
  • Experience in new vaccines introduction and vaccination in health emergencies situation
  • Experience with WHO or other agencies in the United Nations system would be an asset.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of implementation of SIAs (e.g Polio NIDs, MR), surveillance and outbreak response
  • Ability to work as a team under tight deadlines and work in a multicultural environment.
  • Demonstrated experience of working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.

Other Skills

Excellent knowledge of Microsoft applications (e. g. Excel, Word, Power Point, etc.) and and knowledge of health data management packages like EPI INFO, etc, will be an added advantage


Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English. A good knowledge of local language(s) including creole would be an advantage.