terms of reference

Sierra Leone - Ebola Response Public Health (Epidemiologist)
Emergency Health/Epidemiology Specialist (Ebola Response)
Reports to:
Chief, Child Survival and Development
Three month deployment with possibility of extension
Freetown, Sierra Leone
On Monday 26 May 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and
Sanitation declared an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone following the laboratory
confirmation of a suspected case from Kailahun district. The district is located in the eastern region
of Sierra Leone sharing borders with Guinea and Liberia. This outbreak appears to be a spill over
from the on-going outbreak in Guinea and Liberia since March 2014.
The recent reports from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone indicates a continuous cycle of
transmission across the borders which have all been reporting an increasing trend especially in the
past week. Kailahun district still remains the epicentre of the outbreak (291 confirmed cases) and
Kenema with a total confirmed cases of 136; new districts have also emerged as a result of
continued transmission following community denial, stigmatization resulting in confirmed cases
escaping from treatment centers and contacts poorly traced and followed up. The new districts and
case distribution are as follows: Bo with 11 confirmed cases, Western Area (including the national
capital city of Freetown) reported 4 confirmed cases with one currently at large in hiding within the
city, Port Loko district (4), Kambia, Bombali, Moyamba and Bonthe (with 1 confirmed case each )
and a national cumulative total confirmed cases of 450 with 152 confirmed deaths and 116
survivors as at July 24th 2014.
Presently, UNICEF is an active participant in the National Ebola Response Taskforce meetings and
the technical meetings convened by the logistics, case management, surveillance/lab, social
mobilization and coordination pillars of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its development
partners. In addition UNICEF participates in daily National Emergency Operational Centre (EOC)
meetings with MOHS, WHO, UNFPA and other development partners to ensure effective
coordination and operational support provided to the MoHS at national and district levels.
UNICEF is seeking an experienced Public Health Epidemiologist with experience in Ebola or Viral
Haemorrhagic fever control, for a period of 3 months to support the effective case detection and
reporting, contact tracing and follow up of its Ebola response.
Under the supervision of the EPI Health Specialist and in close coordination/collaboration with the
chief of the Child Survival and Development (CSD) section, Health Manager, Emergency
Coordinator, C4D specialist and guidance of the senior management of the CO
(Representative/Deputy Representative), responsible for supporting the development, planning,
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of UNICEF’s support to the case detection/referral,
contact tracing and follow up emergency response to the Ebola epidemic activities.
The expected outcome is technical support provided to the overall mitigation of the EVD
transmission as a result of efficient and effective support to the Ebola response surveillance pillar
activities and delivery of results in accordance with UNICEF’s Core Commitment for Children in
Emergencies (CCCs) and national and international humanitarian standards.
Under the framework of national and district surveillance/laboratory pillar, provide support to
Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and DHMTs for case detection/referral, and community
contact tracing and follow up in affected districts.
Provide real time technical support and advice to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in
responding to urgent emerging issues relating to the EVD to ensure effective, timely and quality
response as may be required
Based on the identified needs, and in coordination with other UNICEF’s relevant sections –
particularly CSD, C4D , Child Protection, and implementing partners, develop and implement
strategies and plans to:
- Reach affected populations/communities with culturally appropriate and gender
sensitive interventions to mitigate transmission and reduce health risks with reference
to both physical and behavioural aspects, through effective contact tracing/case
detection and follow up of Ebola case contacts to ensure early detection and referral in
affected communities
In collaboration with MOHS, WHO and other partners develop a simplified user friendly
implementation and monitoring plan/protocol to follow up and report regularly on the status of
listed contacts within 21 days of exposure
Within the UNICEF Sierra Leone country office team, collaborate with:
-The CSD section, Health/EPI Specialist, Emergency Coordinator, External Relations,
Child protection and C4D colleagues to ensure the smooth implementation of tasks
above for the Ebola response
Undertake any other related responsibility as may be required by the EPI/Health Specialist, Chief of
CSD and/or the country office senior management.
Advanced university degree in Public Health with specialization in Epidemiology or
equivalent experience in control of viral haemorrhagic fever or diseases outbreak response.
Working experience in West Africa, or previously Ebola affected African countries preferred,
although not essential.
Excellent planning and coordination skills, with proven ability to work within a team setting,
with multiple stakeholders and in a multi-cultural working environment.
A minimum of 5 years of experience with either the UN, and/or emergency health NGOs
Fluency in English (verbal and written). Good written and spoken skills in the language of the
humanitarian operation and knowledge of another UN language an asset.
The assignment is based in the capital city of Freetown with possible frequent missions to
Ebola affected districts of Sierra Leone, as may be determined by the trend of the outbreak
and/or needs of the country office.