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BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
The epidemiological event in question began in the district of Nsok-Nsomo, in Kié-Ntem northeaster province, bordering Cameroon and Gabon. On 7th February 2023, Nsok-Somo health district authorities reported to Ministry of Health (MoH) 9 deaths of patients with unusual symptoms (fever, diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding from the orifices) which occurred between last weeks of 2022 and February 7, 2023, in the two villages: Ngum-Esatop and Evusoc-Mokomo in Nsok-Somo district. The latest death was reported on February 10 in Ebibeyin district (a 54-year-old man), who is a direct contact of 4 people who died in Ngum-Esatop village, Nsok-Nsomo district. There is an established epidemiological link between the 9 deaths.
On 13th February 2023, the Government of Equatorial Guinea officially declared its first ever outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) following the laboratory confirmation at Pasteur Institute in Dakar, of a case and nine related deaths in Kié-Ntem, an eastern province in the continental part of the country. The Equatorial Guinean government, with the support of WHO, UNICEF and other partners developed an Emergency Response Plan to the MDV outbreak targeting the affected province. The plan aims to interrupt the chains of transmission, prevent death and limit the secondary impact of the outbreak in Equatorial Guinea through the implementation of outbreak response interventions, structured around the key strategic pillars of coordination, case management, epidemiological surveillance, risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), infection prevention and control (IPC), supply and logistics, and continuity of essential services in the affected areas.
Up to 24th February 2013, 9 deaths MVD related were reported (1 confirmed by lab Test); 16 initial suspected cases with had mild symptoms in 2 health districts: Ebibeyin, and Nsok-Nsomo of Kie-Ntem province, isolated at home and under surveillance and care.; 3 new suspected cases reported on 22nd February (1 death at Ebibeyin Provincial hospital and 2 with mild symptoms isolated at Nsok-Nsomo district hospital). 21 direct contacts (asymptomatic) also isolated at home, under surveillance (ongoing investigation).
UNICEF in Equatorial Guinea will provide technical assistance, particularly in the pillars of IPC-WASH, risk communication and community engagement (RCCE/SBC), psychosocial support, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and support the monitoring and continuity of essential services in all affected districts, and as needed, depending on the spread of the epidemics.
With a direct reporting line to the UNICEF Equatorial Guinea CO Emergency Focal Point/ Specialist, the Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) Specialist will provide technical and operational support to the implementation, monitoring and delivery of results of the mental health and psychosocial support component in the continental part of the country (Bata, and Kié-Ntem province, as needed; and as part of the implementation of the Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreak response plan. As part of the risk communication and community engagement pillar, she/he will focus on scaling up the MH and PSS activities in coordination with the governmental partners at provincial and district levels, and with the interagency mechanisms, as needed.
MAJOR DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:
PILLAR: Risk Communication and community engagement (MHPSS component)
- Provide technical and operational support to programme development, planning, implementation, monitoring and delivery of results of the mental health and psychosocial support component in the continental part of the country (Bata, and Kié-Ntem province, as needed.
- Support coordination of child protection and MHPSS partners operating across districts affected by the MVD outbreak.
- Represent UNICEF in the sub-committee on MHPSS at district level (and at provincial level if needed).
- Represent UNICEF in regular MVD task force meetings to provide updates on the ongoing CP/MHPSS response, challenges and provide feedback to the CO CP team.
- Provide technical leadership for child protection and mental health needs assessments including rapid assessments; support partners, including district local governments with collecting and generating data and evidence on the protection and mental health situation of children districts affected by the MVD outbreak.
- Contribute to strengthen the capacities of district local governments and other partners at district and community levels to ensure that child protection in emergencies interventions and mental health and psychosocial services are appropriately and effectively delivered in preparedness, prevention and response interventions.
- Update, develop and ensure quality implementation of policies, tools, referral pathways, training, and support materials on child protection in emergencies (CPiE) and MHPSS in the context of MVD outbreak; in support to the local practitioners to effectively respond to the needs and rights of children.
- Provide inputs into regular internal and external reporting requirements related to the CP/MHPSS MVD response.
- Support resource mobilization initiatives for the CPiE/MHPSS response as part of the overall MVD response.
- Knowledge management and documentation of CP/MHPSS interventions in the MVD response.
- Education: Advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: psychology, and social work. Additional training in sociology, international development, human rights, international law, humanitarian assistance or another relevant social science field, are considered an asset.
- Work Experience: A minimum of 3 years of professional experience in child protection in emergencies and/or MHPSS related fields. Experience in managing MHPSS interventions in a disease outbreak context, and in working with local government in strengthening and implementing CPiE/MHPSS response, are an advantage.
- Excellent communication skills. Proven ability to work independently under difficult conditions. Excellent facilitation, training, networking, and advocacy skills and experience in coaching and mentoring and capacity strengthening related to CPiE/MHPSS. Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization. Ability to build and maintain partnership with government, UN and NGO partners.
- Ability to work under stressful conditions and flexible approach in undertaking the assignment within a rapidly changing environment.
- Language Requirements: Fluency in Spanish required. French and English are considered a strong asset.
- Core competencies: Comply with For every Child, UNICEF’s values of Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS), and with the core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
- The Functional competencies and required levels for this post are: Demonstrates Self Awareness (1); Ethical Awareness (1); Works Collaboratively with others (1); Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1); Innovates and Embraces Change (1); Thinks and Acts Strategically (1); Drive to achieve impactful results (1).
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Eligible UNICEF International Professional (IP) Staff Members on fixed-term, continuing or permanent contracts applying to a Temporary Appointment, which is dedicated to L3 (or L2) Response, may be able to retain a lien and their fixed-term entitlements. The conditions of the temporary assignment will vary depending on the status of their post and their current tour of duty, and relocation entitlements may be limited as per the relevant policies.
Advertised: 17 Mar 2023 W. Central Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 24 Mar 2023 W. Central Africa Standard Time
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