JOB TITLE: Health Specialist
JOB FAMILY: Health, Nutrition & Population
JOB TYPE: Professional & Technical
LOCATION: Abuja, Nigeria
RECRUITMENT TYPE: Local Hire
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: English [Essential]
CLOSING DATE: 18-Aug-2013
Background / General description:
The Africa Health, Nutrition, and Population Unit, West and Central Africa (AFTHW) is seeking a Health Specialist to be part of its health team. The position will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, and the candidate will report to the Sector Manager.
Communicable diseases remain a significant health sector challenge in Nigeria and the Bank has a large health portfolio supporting the Government which includes 3 communicable disease projects on Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Poliomyelitis. In addition to these the portfolio also includes an ongoing health systems project and the preparation of a new results based health systems strengthening project both of which also include support to combating communicable diseases.
Malaria accounts for 11% of maternal mortality and 12-30% of mortality in children under 5 years of age in Nigeria (FMoH and NMCP, 2009). While 50% of the adult population experience at least one malaria episode annually, children less than five years may experience up to four episodes per year. The disease currently accounts for nearly 110 million clinically diagnosed cases per year, 60 percent of outpatient visits, and 30 percent hospitalizations (NPC and ICF Macro, 2009). An estimated 300,000 children die of malaria each year. In addition to the direct health impact of malaria, there are also severe social and economic burdens on communities and the country as a whole, with about 132 billion Naira lost to malaria annually in the form of treatment costs, prevention, loss of work time, etc. (FMoH and NMCP, 2009). The main objective of the Nigeria Malaria Booster Control Project a US$ 280Million project is i) to ensure that the target population will have improved access to, and utilization of well-defined set of Malaria Plus Package of interventions (MPP); and (ii) to strengthen Federal and States ability to manage and oversee delivery of malaria plus interventions. The project is being implemented in six (6) states- covering a population of about 25 million people.
The current HIV prevalence rate in the country is 3.6% but this masks a broad variation from state to state (from 1% in Ekiti to 10.6% in Benue State). While the rate is comparatively low, with the high population, Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with the HIV. Nigeria also has a large burden of mother to child transmission of HIV and contributes 32% of global PMTCT access gap. Only 14% of infected women are currently receiving preventative treatment to block transmission of HIV. The objective of the Second Nigeria HIV/AIDS Program Development Project ($225 Million) is to reduce the risk of HIV infections by scaling up prevention interventions and to increase access to and utilization of HIV counseling, testing, care and support services. The project is being implemented in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Nigeria is one of 3 countries in the world where Poliomyelitis is still endemic. Eradication efforts have been in place in the country for the last decade but suffered a setback in 2003 when it was suspended in the Northern part of the country. It took several years of intense efforts to recover its momentum with the Northern states still lagging behind the rest of the country in vaccination coverage. The Partnership for Polio Eradication Project ($95 million) which covers the whole country is supporting the Government to achieve its goal of interrupting the transmission of the wild polio virus. While the eradication efforts have taken longer than expected, during the past 2 years with intensive efforts, there has been a 98% reduction of polio cases in the country. Additional and sustained efforts will be required for several more years to eradicate the disease in the country and improve vaccination coverage in general.
The job of the Health Specialist will be to support the Nigerian government and the country team in the implementation of the communicable diseases project and provide close supportive supervision and monitoring of the projects at the federal and states levels. The Bank plays a critical leadership role on communicable disease programming in Nigeria and the candidate is expected to dialogue with other key actors in the health and other relevant sectors, provide technical value-added support to government counterparts, and be able to manage donor relations towards a more systematic approach to combating communicable diseases in the country. The Health/Operations Specialist will also contribute to the Unit’s operational and analytic work programs as a tool to strengthen health systems and to improve health outputs and outcomes.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Health Specialist will be based in the World Bank Country office in Abuja and, working in close collaboration with the Bank team, including task-team leaders (TTLs), and will:
1. Play a lead role in supporting the Nigerian Federal and State Government and country health teams with technical assistance on communicable disease programming and primary health care interventions. The candidate will carry out variety of operational tasks, e.g. ongoing monitoring of project activities and their outputs, technical analyses, design of technical assistance interventions, participation in policy dialogue, reporting and other project documentation as required by the Bank’s operating system, etc.
2. Support the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), state governments, and related stakeholders in the successful completion of the Malaria Booster Project so that it achieves its development objectives and is fully disbursed.
3. Support the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), state agencies for the control of AIDS (SACAs), and related stakeholders in the acceleration of progress on the HPDP2 with the aim of controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS.
4. Deploy appropriate methodologies for handling simple and complex procurement tasks and participate in developing and implementing the health sector strategy and assist in country-specific policy work in relation to communicable diseases control.
5. Participate in project supervision missions; provide technical inputs and guidance to counterparts on appropriate scope, technology, costs, etc.; prepares terms of reference for project- or sector-related work. H/She will work independently, seeking guidance on complex projects/issues from senior specialists.
6. Design and implement appropriate analytical work to address relevant operational questions within communicable disease and health system issues. Develop, write and disseminate case studies and papers on lessons learned in coordination with governments, Bank staff, and international partners.
7. Help ensure close coordination with: (i) government; (ii) a variety of international and local development partners; and (iii) and Bank team across sectors, networks, CMUs, etc.
8. Carry out such tasks as the Sector Manager assigns to support the development of the Bank’s work in health, nutrition, and population in Nigeria.
Client Orientation - Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.
Drive for Results - Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization to do so.
Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.
Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner.
Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work.
In addition, the selected candidate will have
1. An advanced degree in medicine or relevant Social Sciences (Health Economics, Public Health, Business Administration or similar), and at least 5 years of relevant work experience. A demonstrated ability to translate analytical/technical skills into operational results.
2. Knowledge and at least 5 years of relevant experience of public health programming, implementation and monitoring especially in the area of communicable disease/ primary health care within developing country context.
3. Strong knowledge and understanding of developing country HNP issues, their political economy, and the institutional and governance contexts in which they arise.
4. Deep knowledge of public health programs such as malaria control, immunization, and HIV/AIDS.
5. Proven analytical and quantitative skills. Knowledge of impact evaluation will be an asset.
6. Excellent English language writing and oral communications skills.
7. Strong diplomatic skills and success working in teams both as a team member and as a team leader. Be able to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues. Function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within a matrix management environment.
8. Knowledge of results-based financing (RBF) mechanisms would be an advantage.