Epidemiology and Laboratory Services Advisor

Accra, Ghana
Apply by 21 March 2018
Posted on 13 March 2018

Job Description

DPS seeks an Epidemiology and Laboratory Services Advisor to enhance or establish systems for Surveillance of Influenza through Sentinel Programming. The advisor shall assist the CDC Influenza Program with implementation and monitoring of surveillance and provide technical assistance for countries associated with the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and its network.

Responsibilities
  • Coordinate and assist international and non-governmental organizations carrying out influenza activities in the West Africa (WA), Central Africa (CA) and as needed, other countries served by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO). This will require local travel to coordinate these activities and African Regional meetings.
  • Provide focused technical support on surveillance enhancement within ECOWAS nations.
  • Assure optimal participation of ECOWAS nations in the submission of specimens through the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) network.
  • Support intra-agency collaborations that promote the successful implementation of programmatic goals and objectives (e.g. CDC Ghana, CDC headquarters initiatives and other CDC programs)
  • Conduct regular meetings and ad hoc communications with global, country and local agencies to effectively facilitate the completion of programmatic and reporting goals and objectives, to include telephone, email, face-to-face meetings, and trainings.
  • Coordinate with Noguchi Memorial Medical Research Institute to complete tasks assigned. Tasks to include: providing technical expertise in analysis of data on burden of disease for publication; conducting assessments to identify gaps; providing recommendations of influenza partners needing technical assistance; and sharing subject matter expertise to enhance the implementation of surveillance system.
  • Establish and maintain a point of contact in each MoH and/or National Lab in each WA and CA country where CDC currently works. This can include additional countries where future work is planned.
  • Assess each MOH/Lab to determine their capability and their needs, encourage them to conduct influenza surveillance. Tools that will be used are the CDC/Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Lab Capacity Review Tool, the CDC Epidemiology Surveillance Review Tool, and the Monitoring and Evaluation for Pandemic Preparedness.
  • Develop an action plan in English, French, or both languages for each country to prioritize the support that can be offered by CDC.
  • Strengthen MOH technical capability through direct Technical Assistance for each MOH/Lab both on laboratory and epidemiology aspects
  • Organize regional collaboration among countries that will be supported by CDC to increase capacity of countries through training, networking and information sharing of influenza methodologies.
  • Organize or conduct regional trainings, e.g.Epi Surveillance Training and Lab/PCR (polymerase chain reaction) Training.
  • Serve as Flu advisor on Global Health Security (GHS) initiatives associated with influenza surveillance and laboratory.
  • Participate as member of Global Health Security team as subject matter expert on influenza laboratory and surveillance.
  • Determine feasibility of CDC providing assistance in the event of an outbreak. Collectively with in-country actors/points of contacts determine need, identify resources available to fulfill need, and provide support as available and appropriate.
  • Contribute to enhanced Sentinel surveillance in Ghana thorough technical assistance in collaboration with NOGUCHI Institute.
  • Strengthen the WHO/AFRO Influenza Lab Network in WA and CA supporting new NICs through cross-training National Reference Labs for base flu diagnostics.
  • Provide outbreak response and support in the West Africa region with, USG (CDC or USAID), FAO, and WHO/AFRO.
  • Confirm reporting of seasonal, avian, and novel influenza reports to WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and CDC Atlanta for West African and Central Africa countries.
  • Provides scientific and/or technical advice on cooperative agreements awarded by CDC’s Influenza Division.
  • Provides scientific and/or technical advice and assistance in the development of criteria and standards for the planning, implementation and evaluation of influenza proposals or protocols.
  • Provide technical support to countries in West Africa and Central Africa to analyze and interpret data and produce abstracts for scientific meetings and manuscripts for publication.
  • Translate and transcribe documents including correspondence, presentations and training materials as appropriate.
  • Produce influenza sentinel surveillance studies, with the goals of determining the circulating strains of influenza viruses, the epidemiology and seasonality of influenza, the burden of influenza at selected health facilities through the establishment of ILI (Influenza like Illness)/SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) surveillance.
  • Conduct trainings for country teams on Rapid Response and Outbreak/Pandemic Preparedness; multi-disciplinary team composition, key steps for outbreak response, post-response.
  • Provide technical support to the Africa Region through engagement with WHO-AFRO region and WHO headquarters on special initiatives. (e.g., PIP Framework)
  • Complete and maintain up to date certification for all CDC-and Noguchi-required trainings to include, but not limited to, Security Awareness and High Threat Security Overseas Seminar (HTSOS) training.
  • Attend ICAP-approved conferences and make presentations as required.
Qualifications
  • MD and specialized degree in virology;
  • Minimum five years’ experience in health or public health program management;
  • Minimum five years’ experience in animal and human influenza in an African setting;
  • Experience working with CDC-Ghana is required;
  • Ability to work independently while seeking advice and support when necessary;
  • Willingness & ability to converse with various groups using French and English. FSI Level 4 required in French language (Level 5 is desired); and
  • Willingness & ability to travel extensively in-country is preferred.

About the Organization

Dexis Professional Services (DPS), a wholly-owned, independently operated business unit established in 2016 to provide support services to United States Government (USG) agencies that were previously provided by the parent company, Dexis Consulting Group (Dexis). Committed to excellence in institutional support and staff augmentation, DPS draws on the parent company’s 15+ years of experience fielding domestic and overseas technical, operational, professional and managerial staff for various USG clients.

DPS is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental handicap, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran of the US Armed Forces.

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