Field Epidemiologist Advisor for the Latin America – Brazil region

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) helps people in distress, victims of natural or man-made disasters and victims of armed conflict. They do so regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political beliefs.

MSF practices neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance. MSF demands complete and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions.

The members respect their professional ethics and maintain total independence vis-à-vis any political, economic or religious power.

MSF-Brazil has a team of over 220 people. It is one of 31 MSF offices worldwide, bringing together financial and human resources and growing expertise to support MSF projects in more than 70 countries. MSF-Brazil’s main office is located in Rio de Janeiro with a growing support office in São Paulo and its activities are funded by more than 500,000 Brazilian donors.

MSF-Brazil is an organization committed to promoting inclusion and diversity.

To note: this position will be based within the Brazilian Medical Unit (BRAMU) and will work in collaboration with the LuxOR and the medical department of the Operational Center Brussels (OCB).

BRAZILIAN MEDICAL UNIT (BRAMU)

BRAMU is a medical unit within MSF, funded and accountable to the MSF-Brazil management, and integrated within the MSF medical department –Operational Center Brussels (OCB).

The growing challenges in the Latin American region around migration, violence, environmental health issues and emerging health issues have moved the unit towards a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach using applied social sciences, evidence-based medicine and epidemiology.

BRAMU’s support portfolio includes migration, urban violence, environmental health, adolescent health and mental health.

Luxor

The LuxOR (Luxembourg Operational Research Unit) was founded in 2009 and is part of the medical department of MSF-OCB. Operational research helps MSF take a deep dive into its programs and operations, assess what is working well and show what can and should be improved. Since 2019, LuxOR has taken on the support and coordination of the various epidemiology advisors as well as field epidemiologists, providing technical support, guidance and advice to field epidemiologists in the various OCB missions.

More information can be found on the LuxOR website

PURPOSE OF THE ROLE

This position will provide operational epidemiological support to MSF projects in the Latin America region regarding surveillance, field epidemiology and outbreak investigations. He will also contribute to the operational research program in collaboration with Luxor and/or other MSF research units.

RESPONSIBILITIES

OPERATIONAL AND STRATEGIC FUNCTIONS

  1. Provide epidemiological support to medical projects with strategic and technical guidance
  • Participate in regular meetings of the OCB epidemiology circle of all OCB epidemiologists.
  • Link with the various epidemiology advisors, Ariadne (e-health unit), GIS and other experts inside and outside the MSF-OCB medical service
  • Knowledge Management: Update and maintain an organized library of technical documentation such as; guidelines, protocols and make them accessible to epidemiologists in the field
    • Provide strategic input and support the development of relevant SOPs and protocols for field epidemiologists
    • Support the development and delivery of relevant training for (field epidemiologists and epidemiology advisors
  • Monitor an epidemiological context beyond the project sites and alert the respective missions and RST teams accordingly if necessary
  • Lead/support outbreak investigations and investigation design or implementation as required by missions
    • Conduct/support explos, public health assessments or investigations as required and requested by operations
  • Medical advocacy support based on operational requests to shape medical advocacy topics, support data collection and analysis as well as report writing as requested and needed
  • Conduct field visits to selected projects to support and better understand the needs of field epidemiologists.
  1. Contribute to the Operations Research (OR) program and provide technical support on OR and supervision as needed
  • Play the role of focal point for OR happening at mission level in the Latin America region under (Regional Support Team) RST 5.
  • Contribute and engage in discussions/identification/formulation of potential new research questions for OR and develop or support the development, as appropriate, of research protocols and scientific papers
  • Keep an agenda of research topics/questions by country and monitor the progress of OR projects
  • Support when needed and as identified by missions and/or MedOps and/or LUXOR in concept (validity and topic), elaboration, methods, data collection, implementation, analysis and training related to OR

3) Provide strategic support regarding routine monitoring and assessment and medical surveillance

  • Support for the harmonization of MSF data collection tools, particularly in the strategy for implementing new tools such as DHIS2 for existing and new projects in the region
  • Create and maintain with the mission epi an inventory of data tools in existing projects for each country in the region. Evaluate the validity of these tools, and propose alternatives, improvements in collaboration with the referents of the medical services concerned.
  • Support projects in Latin America in follow-up meetings. Translate surveillance results into alerts, project adjustments, project proposals and medical advocacy in collaboration with missions
  • Discuss the quality of data collection in projects with the project medical manager and epidemiologists.
  • Support and discuss data protection with mission/project medical officer and epidemiologists.
  • Coach, train and support the staff involved in monitoring at different levels of the projects and according to the needs and requests of the missions
  • Provide support in defining/updating/editing/configuring project medical indicators, collecting and configuring data tools, case definitions and analyzing data for internal and external use. Ensure consistency with OCB standards.

EDUCATION

  • Preferred medical training (doctor, nurse)
  • Postgraduate training in epidemiology. This may include an advanced training program in field epidemiology, a master’s degree in epidemiology, or a master’s degree in public health (MPH) with a focus on epidemiology.

LANGUAGES

  • Fluent in Spanish or Portuguese
  • English – min. intermediate level
  • French is an asset

EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Experience in conducting public health scans and assessments
  • Experience in outbreak investigations, setting up and managing surveillance systems, designing and implementing surveys
  • Experience writing protocols and using different quantitative study designs, including a thorough understanding of the concepts of bias and statistical inference
  • Strong skills in analytical methods and data analysis and visualization, including the use of statistical software (R and STATA highly regarded).
  • Knowledge of other health information software (HIS, e.g. DHIS2) and GIS software suites (e.g. ArcGIS or QGIS) is an advantage
  • Familiarity with literature review methods on different topics related to operational priorities (infectious diseases and epidemics, environmental health, migration, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, etc.)
  • Understanding of qualitative and mixed methods study designs is an asset.
  • Field experience with MSF and/or another humanitarian NGO is an asset

COMMON SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • A high degree of initiative and work autonomy, team interaction and diplomacy are required to be able to interact at different levels within the department, within MSF and externally
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances, contexts, tasks, responsibilities and people
  • Willingness and ability to function in a team, transparent communication with colleagues, willingness to share work and experiences, give and ask for support when needed
  • Ability to manage multiple projects or activities simultaneously and deliver quality results on time
  • Proactivity and leadership capacity to carry out operational epidemiological activities
  • Flexibility for regular trips, possibly on a short-term basis.

Basic skills

  • Commitment to MSF principles
  • Results and quality orientation
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Stress management

specific skills

  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Service orientation
  • Analytical thinking
  • Plan and organize

How to register

Please apply here:

Vaga Epidemiologista / Epidemiologist / Epidemiólogo – Vaga exclusiva para candidateura de pessoas negras | MSF – Medicos Sem Fronteiras – Vagas Brasil (empregare.com)

About Donnie R. Losey

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