Public Health Officer – Surveillance – (2400009)

Grade: No grade

Contractual Arrangement: Special Services Agreement (SSA)

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

Job Posting

: Jan 2, 2024, 2:20:59 PM

Closing Date

: Jan 18, 2024, 12:59:00 AM

Primary Location

: Malawi


: AF_MWI Malawi


: Full-time

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the deadline for receipt of applications indicated above reflects your personal device’s system settings.


Purpose of the Position

In the context of the WHO Health Emergencies incident management system, at the country level, the incumbent will support the district response, coordinate and implement technical activities directed towards public health readiness and response, surveillance of outbreaks and health emergencies, scale up the implementation of evidence-based interventions, facilitate policy and decision making processes through improved health information coverage, analysis and quality throughout the full cycle of the incident response based on innovative approaches that utilize available and affordable technologies. The incumbent will advise national actors on public health issues related to emergency response and liaise with other sectors in providing a public health response during emergencies and consequent outbreaks.

Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objectives

The mission of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme is to help countries, and to coordinate international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies

Organizational Context

Support national or district efforts towards emergency preparedness and response for outbreaks and natural disasters through technical assistance at the national or subnational level in the country of assignment. Under the direct supervision of the EPR Team Leader and the incumbent will perform the required duties within the framework of WHO program and policy documents.


Reporting to the Team Lead, and based on priorities set by the Incident Manager and the WHO Head of Country Office, and working closely with counterparts at the Ministry of Health (MoH), respective regional office and HQ , the incumbent will work in close collaboration with relevant technical officers at the national level and subnational levels.:

1.   Conduct, in collaboration with other team members, real-time analysis of outbreak intelligence data, from a broad range of sources including non-health sectors, for epidemic forecasting and detection.

2.    Provide input to communications and information products (situation reports, Health Cluster bulletins, outbreak bulletins etc.) as required

3.   Analyse, systematize, and disseminate scientific and evidence-based technical information and knowledge; support the development of the WHO Situation Reports, management of real time dashboards, other related regular and ad-hoc surveillance reports.

4.    Coordinate and manage surveillance technical activities and programs, within the context of the health emergencies programme at the country level.

5.   Strengthen the capacities of surveillance teams for the effective and sustained surveillance of epidemic prone diseases through training courses on field investigation, detection, data management, and rapid response to epidemics and health outbreaks.

6.  Promote the effective coordination for rapid assessment, surveillance and response activities for epidemic-prone diseases in consultation with Country Office, Regional Office and HQ as well as MoH and other international health partners including UN agencies and NGOs.

7.    Prompt deployment to suspected disease outbreaks and or acute events of public health concern. Co-develop the guidelines, tools and indicators for effective disease surveillance in the response.

8.     Perform any other incident-specific related duties as required by the functional supervisor.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages


Essential: University degree in epidemiology or statistics, or public health from an accredited/recognized institute.

Desirable: Advanced university degree in public health, post-graduate certification in public health , tropical medicine, database management or health-related training in communicable diseases.


Essential: At least two (2) years’ related experience at the national or international level in epidemiology and the implementation of public health surveillance, outbreak investigation or response in humanitarian settings.

Desirable: Prior working experience at field level with MoH, WHO, other UN agencies,

health cluster partners, NGOs or recognized humanitarian organizations with expertise

in disaster and outbreak response.

Use of Language skills:

Essential: Excellent knowledge of English

Desirable: Knowledge of the local language(s)

Other Skills (e.g. IT):

•           Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.

•           Working knowledge of online data collection applications, statistical analysis packages (Stata, SPSS, etc).


Functional Skills/Knowledge

·         Demonstrated knowledge of public health fieldwork, conducting disease surveillance activities, or other relevant expertise.

·         Good interpersonal, oral and written communication skills with fluency in oral and written English

·         Good negotiation and diplomatic skills and ability to work in multi-cultural settings and culturally sensitive communities.

·         Energetic and able to work and live in insecure and hardship conditions in the field

·         Time management and ability to prioritize multiple tasks

·         A self-motivated person able to work without close supervision

·         Able to work effectively in a diverse team environment

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Producing results