Medical Officer / Focal Point Immunization, IST-ESA (readvertisement) : World Health Organization World Health Organization

Job Summary

About the job

The Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) Programme is part of and contributes to the work of the Universal health coverage/Communicable and Non-communicable diseases (UHC/UCN) cluster in the WHO African region. The strategic agenda of the cluster is to reduce disease burden in the WHO African Region, by guiding disease control agenda in Africa, and using analytics to inform strategic investments and tailored interventions for disease control”. This approach is underpinned by the guiding principles of comprehensive whole of society, people centered, integrated approaches to disease control. The comprehensive whole of society approaches to disease control involves: (a) coherent implementation of triple response - technical response: implementing diseases specific normative guidance, promoting intervention mixes and deploying medical commodities; health systems response: building capacities of district service delivery systems in disease mapping and stratification, interventions tailoring, and sector/subsector planning; and multi-sectoral response: addressing socio-economic and environmental determinants of diseases through mobilizing non-health sectors, communities and stakeholders; (b) disease control partnership of public and private sectors, health and non-health sectors; and (c) community involvement in targeted high risk communities, focused on managing determinants of diseases, health services demand creation and accountability by local health stewards. The people centered, integrated approaches to disease control involves: (a) integrated guidance on disease control for each health service delivery platform, a move away from stand-alone disease specific guidance; and (b) integrated and efficient disease control investments in strengthening the capacity of appropriate health services delivery platforms through deployment of appropriate technologies and analytics to guide stratification of diseases risks across population groups, development and deployment of comprehensive packages of interventions appropriate for each population group and for each health service delivery platform, and monitoring population access, coverage and impact to leave no one behind.The specific objectives of the UCN cluster and to which the VPD programme contributes, are to: (i) provide leadership on disease control coordination, partnership and resource mobilization; (ii) contribute to the development of WHO disease control technical products, services and tools including adoption of new technologies and innovations; (iii) support generation and use of strategic information for action and decision making including optimizing investment; and (iv) provide or facilitate provision of technical support in deployment of WHO technical products and services and institutional capacity building, including support to national disease programmes and regulatory authorities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Description Of Duties

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.

Qualifications and Experience

Required Qualifications


Essential: Advanced university degree in medicine or health-related science with post-graduate degree in public health.

Desirable: Post-graduate training in epidemiology or social science.



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. Desirable: Experience in epidemiology, and disease control in Africa combined with a sound understanding of the requirements of major immunization partnerships.


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.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Knowing and managing yourself

Producing results

Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Expert knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Portuguese.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 90,664 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 2493 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.

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