Public Health Specialist – Lesotho COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project


Kingdom of Lesotho

Ministry of Health


Job Description          

DEPARTMENT: Project Implementing Unit          

JOB TITLE: Public Health Specialist

PROJECT: Lesotho COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.

RESPONSIBLE TO: Project Coordinator                  

DATE OF ISSUE: 3rd May 2021

  1. Background

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that has become the greatest challenge to countries in a short period of time. The pandemic has disrupted essential health services and negatively impacted multiple aspects of lives and likelihoods. To counter the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Lesotho (GoL) has implemented several strategies based on the WHO guided pillars, including in surveillance, rapid response teams, and case investigation, national laboratories, and case management, as well as for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and implementation.

The Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Health (MoH) is implementing the Lesotho COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project. The project aims to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19, including by supporting routine COVID-19 services such as testing and case management as well as large-scale deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.  

In an effort to implement this project effectively, the MOH seeks to recruit a Public Health Specialist who will work closely with the various technical and support programs within the MOH including Family Health Division – Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), Disease Control Directorate, Clinical Directorate, Quality Assurance and other stakeholders. 

Initially, the Public Health specialist will primarily support the Lesotho COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project – with emphasis on bringing the immunization program at scale over the following months. S/he will also support the implementation of other health projects coordinated by the Project implementing Unit (PIU) within the MOH, i.e. the Lesotho Nutrition and Health System Project and the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project.  

  1. Job Summary

The Public Health Specialist will provide technical and programmatic support in the implementation of the COVID-19 project, including activities to strengthen COVID-19 diagnostics, case management, and vaccination. The Public Health Specialist will be responsible for ensuring that plans for the scale up of COVID-19 vaccination under the project are appropriately developed, implemented and monitored, including providing advice and technical support in vaccine logistics and deployment, such as on out-sourcing strategy, ensuring that field sites have access to appropriate logistics, trainings, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as other aspects related to the deployment of the vaccine. S/he will work with the PIU and EPI program to ensure the safe delivery and storage of COVID-19 vaccines through the implementation of a cold supply chain strategy for the vaccination program.

The Public Health Specialist will work under the supervision of the project coordinator at the PIU and work in close collaboration with the EPI team and the other COVID-19 response pillars. The Public Health Specialist will be member of the various Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for the COVID-19 response and immunization program and ensure linkages between the various pillars and the project.

  1. Duties and Responsibilities

The Public Health Specialist will be responsible to:

  • Coordinate with the COVID-19 pillar programs and national technical working groups, including the EPI and the National New Vaccine Introduction (NNVI) group to ensure timely planning, monitoring and implementation of COVID-19 activities including vaccination related activities;
  • Coordinate with technical partners and different government departments to ensure efficient and effective planning and subsequent implementation of project activities;
  • Provide technical support to the implementation of the COVID-19 project including in the areas of COVID-19 diagnostics, case management and vaccination;
  • Develop and update relevant guidelines, terms of references (TORs), and other guidance documents to support the roll out of project activities including to support the development and roll out of a national health information reporting system to track COVID-19 vaccination;
  • Review routine data from the COVID-19 program and produce monthly and quarterly reports;
  • Review work plans and project implementation progress against results framework targets and provide quarterly updates to the Project Coordinator on implementation of the COVID-19 project;
  • Facilitate review meetings at district and national levels to discuss progress, challenges and proposed solutions as relevant;  
  • Support the monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and deployment to minimize vaccine wastage and help ensure the quality, efficacy, proper tracking, reporting of vaccine utilization and safety of COVID-19 vaccines;
  • Support the assessment, design and implementation of appropriate waste management mechanisms to safely treat and dispose waste while protecting the environment and populations;
  • Working with the technical working groups, identify training needs of health workers, develop training plans, oversee and coordinate training activities, and participate in training and Micro plan activities;
  • Oversee and support the monitoring of adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that adverse events are recorded appropriately, and liaise with the EPI program to ensure that the events are addressed accordingly;
  • Improve data archiving, analysis, interpretation and use of disease surveillance and immunization data for evidence-based decision making and action, coordinating with District Health Management Teams to review data.
  • Liaise with the environmental and safeguard (E&S) specialist with regard to E&S related case management.
  • Provide technical support to other projects as required.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A University Medical or public health degree (Master level). A combination of a medical and public health degree will be an advantage;
  • The candidate must have at least 5 years’ experience in national immunization systems, supply chain management, health systems strengthening or other related public health related field;
  • The candidate must have at least 5 years’ experience working with the health care systems in Lesotho or other Southern African settings
  • Key Skills

Technical skills

  1. Knowledge of public health, surveillance, infectious diseases, immunization system (including vaccines storage, distribution and administration);
  2. Strong data and analytic capacity and ability to analyse complex information. Good mastery of standard computer applications: Microsoft Office Package;
  3. Ability to think strategically and conduct dialogue on social development policies and priorities, while maintaining a strong sense of realism with regard to in-country conditions and competing demands for resources.
  4. Understanding of country context, including the health and immunization systems;

Soft skills/competencies

  • Excellent communication and writing skills, including to both technical and non-technical audiences;
  • Good listener with demonstrated ability to present and win support for ideas as well as make effective and timely decisions;
  • Result focused and able to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work independently, be creative and innovative but also be a team player with strong leadership skills. Experience working with large teams with members with different backgrounds.
  • Language requirements

Excellent knowledge of written and oral English. Knowledge of the local language is preferable.

  • Reporting

The candidate will be supervised by the Project coordination under the Ministry of Health/PIU.

  • Duration

The duration for this position is 36 months starting as soon as possible. The contract is subject to 4 months’ probation period and the contract period will also be subjected to performance monitoring.

  1. Duty Station

The duty station for the position is the MoH Headquarters with frequent travel to districts, as needed to effectively carry out the duty.  

  • Remuneration

Successful candidate will be offered market related remuneration.

  • Facilities to be Provided

The Candidate will be provided with Office space and necessary equipment such as Laptop and phone.

  • Application Instructions

Interested and suitably qualified candidates should forward their applications indicating the advertisement and position on the subject line of letter and envelope together with detailed curriculum vitae indicating work experience. Online applications should be sent to [email protected] indicating the position on the subject. Day time telephone contacts, names and telephone contacts of 3 referees should be included in the CV.

Applications to reach the undersigned not later than ­­­­­12th May 2021 1200hour to: 

Procurement Specialist, Procurement Unit Ground Floor, Room 11 Ministry of Health,

Corner Constitution & Linare Roads, Kingdom of Lesotho,

Telephone: (+266) 27323277

Email: [email protected]