Saturday, 12 January 2013

Epidemiology Technical Advisor

The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is a collaboration between the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco. It is a center in the University of Washington's Department of Global Health and has offices throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. I-TECH's 700 worldwide staff work in partnership with local ministries of health, universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), medical facilities, and other organizations to support the development of a skilled health work force and well-organized national health delivery systems. I-TECH's activities occur primarily in the technical areas of health system strengthening; health workforce development; operations research and evaluation; and prevention, care, and treatment of infectious diseases.

This position is located in Lilongwe, Malawi. This is a full time position to run for two years with the possibility to extend based on re-evaluation of program priorities. The position requires a dynamic individual with strong epidemiology and Maternal Child Health programing skills.

Through direct technical assistance, and a strong focus on building Malawian capability and capacity, the Epidemiology Technical Advisor (TA) will assist the Malawi Ministry of Health’s (MoH) RHU in strengthening Maternal Child Health (MCH) strategic information needs. The MoH’s Reproductive Health Unit (RHU)’s ability to provide timely information for programing is essential to accelerating the target achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)4, 5 and 6.

This position will be placed under the Reproductive Health Unit (RHU) at the Ministry of Health of Malawi. The incumbent will provide direct technical assistance (TA) in the areas of maternal child health surveillance, operations research, health information systems (HIS) activities, and use of data for decision-making. The successful candidate will assist the MoH by applying MCH epidemiology concepts to improve the integration of health information systems across different technical areas including: RHU, HIV department, and linkages with other partner efforts. The placement of such a TA in MoH’s Reproductive Health Unit, aims to strengthen coordination and leadership for MCH strategic information and improve collaboration within the MoH, among its external implementing partners around maternal child health information systems for programmatic response.

Provide Technical Assistance to MoH: 25% * Applies MCH epidemiology theory, study design, and methods to answer key questions of maternal child health. * Supports mortality surveillance, targeted maternal mortality surveys, and use of maternal or near death audits * Strengthens the use of vital statistics data for programmatic purpose. * Use facility-based health information systems (HIS) to understand perinatal periods of risk and how to strengthen the corresponding service delivery interventions * Use district level health information systems for planning and budgeting to optimize progress towards the Millennium Development Goals * Conducts impact and equity analyses * Applies other maternal child health epidemiology approaches based on needs.

Capacity Building 25% * Assist in measuring outcomes, evaluating processes, and analyzing performance of different MCH interventions * Ensure good documentation of key program data and best practices * Support the development and implementation of the Malawi Country Accountability Framework for reproductive health * Provide strategic leadership in quality improvement of MCH integrated services including PMTCT and the broader maternal-child cascade

Health Information Management: 20% * Identify key sources of population data needed to respond to MoH needs. * Support the collection and use of high quality and timely MCH data from the health facility level, and above * Advance RHU’s health information system, its principles, processes, and tools, for the achievement of real-time data and guidance for evidence based decision-making. * Introduce MCH HIS quality improvement initiatives for systems sustainability. * Apply appropriate MCH epidemiology analysis and reporting strategies

Dissemination: 20% * Synthesize and report key findings to determine whether, and the level, to which an MCH problem exists. * Prepare written and oral reports to communicate key health status and health service indicators to stakeholders * Publish quarterly vital statistics and RHU updates
Collaboration: 10% * Liaise between MoH departments to strengthen coordination across MCH, HIV and other areas (i.e. Clinical services, Nursing, Reproductive Health Unit, HIV Department, Central Monitoring and Evaluation Department)

Requirements: Ph.D. in Epidemiology OR Medical Degree with postgraduate training in Maternal and Child Health epidemiology with strong quantitative research skills.
Plus a minimum 5 years of experience in reproductive health epidemiology, MCH and M&E activities

•Proven track record in working in health related programs in resource limited settings, preferably in Africa •Strong writing skills, including writing of reports •Demonstrated experience in mentoring •High degree of diplomacy, cultural competency and ability to function in a team based environment
Professional and Managerial Competencies: • Experience in high level data management and demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge and skills through training and mentoring • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English • Excellent computer skills • Strong interpersonal skills

Conditions of Employment: This position is based at the Reproductive Health Unit Ministry of Health in Lilongwe, Malawi. Must be available and willing to travel within Malawi up to 10%, with occasional international travel. This position is overtime exempt.
How to apply:
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Closing date: 31 Jan 2013

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