Purpose of the post: The position of Provincial Surveillance Officer has a provincial role and is responsible and accountable for the quality of poliovirus surveillance in all districts of the province to which he/she is assigned. The Provincial Surveillance Officer is expected to provide strategic and technical leadership to provincial and district teams. The incumbent to this post would be specifically accountable for: the management and oversight of all surveillance-related activities and associated databases, as well as other specialized surveillance systems; and, ensuring full implementation of the NEAP and the Surveillance-specific Work Plan derived from the NEAP.
Overview of the Programme: The continued transmission of poliovirus in Pakistan has become a national emergency. Pakistan now risks becoming the last remaining reservoir of endemic poliovirus transmission in the World and the only remaining threat to achieving polio eradication globally. Detecting every poliovirus transmission chain in a timely manner is an objective of the Programme. To achieve this, surveillance must at a minimum meet global standards in all districts. Under the 2016/2017 NEAP, the surveillance system was enhanced through the implementation of a Surveillance for Eradication Work plan. Through the concerted implementation of the plan, surveillance systems have improved across the provinces and districts. In 2017/2018, the surveillance system will aim for an additional performance boost in multiple areas.
Organizational context: Under the technical supervision of the Polio Provincial Team Lead and under the overall supervision of the WHO Representative and in close collaboration with the WHO Medical Officer, the Provincial Surveillance Officer will undertake the following duties:
1. Coordinate WHO provincial activities in all aspects of surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), measles and MNT in the province. Specifically:
1.1. To plan and conduct regular/periodic visits to districts of concern (based on the data/information) to review AFP, measles, and MNT surveillance data and to train district polio eradication officers.
1.2. To assure a line-list of AFP cases is maintained by each district and an updated list is sent to the province each week, and that a computerized line-list of all cases from each district is maintained in the province and provided to the Federal level weekly.
1.3. To conduct quarterly meetings district-level Polio Eradication Officers (PEO), some of which may include the participation of Federal Surveillance Officers.
1.4. To compile surveillance indicators for the province for use in improving AFP, measles and MNT surveillance.
2. Participate in meetings of the Provincial Expert Committee to review AFP cases, requiring expert review.
3. Assist in coordinating surveillance activities with NGOs and other groups working with minority populations such as within Afghan refugee camps.
4. Participate in the planning and implementation of AFP surveillance training workshops within the province for Ministry of Health staff, private sector health care practitioners, NGOs and district-level PEOs in the province.
5. Coordinate the activities of provincial-level PEOs with the Provincial Polio Team Leader and Provincial EPI manager and provide frequent updates of surveillance information.
6. Support the environmental surveillance for polioviruses including:
6.1. in coordination with the Provincial Technical Team, providing assistance to the districts in the selection of the sites for environmental surveillance;
6.2. monitoring the receipt of the samples as per schedule; while keeping a close liaison with the national level; and
6.3. providing feedback to the districts.
7. Assist in preparing performing and/or preparing of situational analyses and reports for the advisory bodies and other organizations and/or institutions.
8. To collect, review and analyze the monthly reports of field technical staff and provide:
8.1. summaries to the provincial Polio Team Leader; and,
8.2. technical feedback to the report originators.
9. Conduct any urgently needed field visits and covers the exceptional shortage of WHO technical field activity.
10. Prepare regular Programme reports and follow-up documentation of special activities for eradication of polio.
11. Collect and collate provincial performance monthly reports and revise them with the Provincial Polio Team Leader for submission to the WHO regional office.
12. Assist in maintaining regular contact with the partner organizations and/or bodies for polio eradication.
13. Perform any other related duties as requested by the supervisor(s).
Supplementary Immunization Activities
The incumbent will use his/her expertise to actively participate in strengthening the efforts to improve the vaccination coverage of target children through supplemental immunization campaigns conducted in the province. This will specifically include:
1. Technical input for planning, supervision, and monitoring of provincial Supplemental Immunization Activities (SIAs) required for polio eradication, including National Immunization Days (NIDs), mopping-up campaigns and outbreak response vaccination.
2. Technical support and guidance to the provincial campaign team, for the development and updating of detailed plans of work in line with the Programmes objectives and targets set by the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) & Provincial Polio Eradication Plans;
3. Analyze the data related to the polio eradication initiative from the reports submitted by the districts and provide feedback on a timely basis to the various health authorities at the district and provincial levels.
4. Provide technical inputs for the planning and implementation of high-risk and transit-point immunization as well as migrant population strategies.
5. Help in developing strategies and plans for the training of EPI staff regarding polio eradication.
6. Collaborate with routine EPI Programme staff in developing plans to ensure that supplemental immunization campaign activities facilitate improvements in the routine EPI Programme
7. Develop and update detailed plans for Lot Quality Assessment (LQA) monitoring activities.
8. Conduct related training to Programme staff in the field as well as the provincial office.
9. Perform any other related duties as requested by the supervisor(s).
Professional Experience and skills:
Strong technical knowledge in public health, epidemiology, infectious disease surveillance, disease outbreak investigation and data management, including analysis and interpretation of infectious disease surveillance data.
Field experience in public health initiatives required.
Proven experience in the successful implementation and management of public health-related projects.
Proven experience in contributing to the setting of public health-related policies.
Proven experience in engaging with members of government and partners at all levels.
Professional experience in Acute Flacid Surveillance (AFP) isdesirable.
Knowledge of the WHO mandate and goals of the Polio Eradication Initiative desirable.
Five years of experience required, of which three should be specific to surveillance of infectious diseases and other vaccine preventable diseases.
Efficient use of computer software applications, including: Microsoft Office; Epi Info; SPSS; and, Stata.
Degree in medicine is essential.
Post-graduate degree in public health or epidemiology is essential.
Publications in peer-review journals on the subject of infectious disease control, elimination and/or eradication, is desirable.
Participation in field-epidemiology training programs and/or the Epidemic intelligence Service (EIS), is an added advantage.
Communicating in a credible and effective way.
Fostering integration and teamwork.
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Promoting WHO's position in health leadership
Demonstrates technical knowledge and expertise; can provide solutions and answer technical queries from others.
Transfers knowledge and expertise openly and freely, providing guidance, coaching and advice on technical areas.
Consults counterparts as required and takes responsibility for work of own team.
Maintains confidentiality and treats sensitive information with discretion; ensures that policies and procedures are followed in accordance with the Organizations professional, ethical and legal standards.
Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behaviour to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.