Medical Officer

  • Full Time
  • Kenya

World Health Organization

Medical Officer

Medical Officer (Immunization in Emergencies) – (2304003)

Grade: P4
Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-term appointment
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): 2 Years
Job Posting: May 3, 2023, 12:15:49 AM
Closing Date: May 24, 2023, 3:44:00 AM
Primary Location: Kenya-Nairobi
Organization: AF/EPR Emergency Preparedness and Response
Schedule: Full-time

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the deadline for receipt of applications indicated above reflects your personal device’s system settings.


The mission of WHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Cluster is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.

The Emergency Preparedness Unit of the EPR Cluster is responsible for identifying gaps in IHR core capacities and strengthening national capacities in preparedness to respond effectively to emergencies while ensuring resilience of health systems during these emergencies. This includes ensuring countries have developed and updated their National Action-Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), risks are identified and anticipated, contingencies and business continuity plans are developed, tools and systems are in place, and human and financial resources for emergencies and resilience are predictable and sustained.


WHO has a strong mandate to work with Member States on immunization and the response to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Detecting, preventing and responding to these outbreaks are part of the core capacities required by the IHR (2005), and key to achieving global health security.

The Medical Officer, Immunization in Emergencies is responsible for providing strategic guidance for decision making on vaccination interventions in emergencies, coordination, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and early recovery of routine vaccination services. This includes risk assessments to determine the rationale for vaccination; review of vaccine options based on contextual considerations; ensuring effective and inclusive coordination mechanisms for planning and implementation of vaccination activities; facilitation of partnerships and cross border collaboration when required; establishing a monitoring framework and sharing of information timely; facilitation of re-establishment or maintenance of routine immunization in the emergency context.

The incumbent will facilitate collaboration and linkage between respective Directorates/ Programmes at AFRO (EPR and UCN/VPD) for effective planning and implementation of vaccination activities in emergency settings. WHO is recognized as a lead organization with strong expertise in vaccine preventable disease outbreaks preparedness and response. The incumbent undertakes coordinated, transparent and collaborative assessment, planning and implementation of vaccination response approaches for WHO to engage as a trusted partner in outbreaks and health emergencies, providing unique and valued capacities.


Under the direct supervision of the Emergency Preparedness Manager and oversight by the Regional Emergency Director (RED) in AFRO, the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1.  Lead WHO support for vaccination in emergency context by ensuring regional coordination and guide decision making on vaccination interventions immediately after the onset or during planning in anticipation of a likely acute emergency.
  2.  Liaise with the WHE detection, verification and risk assessment team to conduct and strengthen event-based surveillance for VPD outbreaks and verify signals, working with relevant technical programmes at the regional office and headquarters. Following verification of a VPD signal, decide whether to proceed with a rapid risk assessment (RRA). In the context of a VPD outbreak, RRA and grading should be undertaken when an outbreak is likely to be notifiable under the IHR or exceeds the response capacity of local authorities, or when multiple countries are affected. Based on the outcomes of the RRA, the technical programme and WHE teams will agree to proceed with grading or not, led by RED.
  3.  Determine the considerations that need to be taken into account when implementing vaccination in the context of a humanitarian emergency including assessment of resources needed to implement vaccination interventions.
  4.  Support effective management and delivery of vaccination services, including coordination, planning, and vaccine forecasting and management. Identify the suitable vaccination delivery strategies in different types of emergencies to increase access to the most vulnerable populations and maintain equitable access to vaccinations.
  5.  Provide expert advice on methods for the collection and analysis of coverage data and information on vaccination interventions in emergencies. Ensure timely reporting and data sharing in emergency situations.
  6. Provide guidance on strategies to sustain and improve routine vaccination coverage during a protracted/chronic emergency situation, as well as efforts towards early recovery of vaccination service delivery to restore equitable access to vaccinations.
  7.  Ensure that performance standards described in the WHO Emergency Response Framework are respected with regards to response to vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.
  8.  Perform other duties requested by supervisors.




  • Master’s degree in epidemiology or in a related field from a recognized institution.


  • Specialized training in field epidemiology.
  • Specialized training in emergency/humanitarian response.



  • At least 7 years of proven experience in vaccination in the context of international public health programmes, including experience in emergency humanitarian settings, and at least 5 years of management experience for managing both human and financial resources.
  • Proven experience in policy and strategy formulation.
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating vaccination campaigns in developing countries.


  • Relevant work experience in WHO or UN agencies or humanitarian organizations;
  • Field experience in public health programmes or emergency response programmes in developing countries.


  1. Ability to undertake risk assessments
  2. Ability to coordinate vaccination interventions including mass campaigns
  3. Demonstrated managerial skills in international and multi-cultural settings combined with proven ability to successfully coordinate and manage projects, and build partnerships with multiple partners in the context of health emergencies
  4. Sound strategic and tactical thinking with ability to formulate clear comprehensive policies, strategies and plans.
  5. Excellent interpersonal with proven ability to communicate in a clear and effective way, with tact, diplomacy and courtesy.

WHO Competencies

  1. Teamwork
  2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  3. Communication
  4. Producing results
  5. Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Excellent knowledge of English or French.


  • Good working knowledge of English or French.
  • Working knowledge of Portuguese.


WHO offers staff in the Professional Category an attractive remuneration package, which for the above position includes an annual net base salary starting at 75.602 USD (Brazzaville, Congo ), (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable).

Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
    A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position.
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  • Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
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