Tasks and responsibilities:
The Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) is closely working with the Emergency and Rehabilitation Division (TCE) under the Strategic Objective 5 to support various aspects of the animal health programme of FAO. The tasks envisaged for this consultancy are to be carried out through the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) programme, which is currently supported by the following projects.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under their Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) Programme, granted new funding to FAO to support Africa to address the problem of emerging and re-emerging high impact zoonoses. The EPT-2 Programme is a global programme with several components for Africa, Asia and the Near East. The key components relevant for Africa include:
- Ebola and other filoviruses surveillance in livestock in 14 countries in West, Central and East Africa.
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) surveillance in select livestock in 4 countries in the Horn of Africa and Near East.
- Emergency H5N1 HPAI prevention and control in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.
- Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050 Programme to identify policy gaps and priorities in order to ensure a sustainable growth of livestock in the long term from a public health, environmental and livelihood perspective in sub-Saharan Africa.
Under the Ebola (filoviruses) surveillance in livestock of the EPT-2 Programme, FAO will focus on defining host species and boundaries of the Ebola epizone while also supporting surveillance, strengthening and harmonizing surveillance systems, enhancing epidemiological capacities and diagnostics, and developing risk-mitigation strategies. These efforts will not only improve prevention, detection, and response to Ebola and other filoviruses, but also improve control of other high impact zoonoses by helping countries move towards implementation of real-time bio-surveillance at the human-animal interface for all animal diseases, using the One Health approach.
The project will mitigate potential negative public health impacts of Ebola and other filoviruses associated with livestock and will be accomplished by efforts to understand animal hosts for these viruses as well as drivers that influence their emergence, spill-over, spread and persistence in order to improve early detection and timely application of appropriate policies and practices for risk reduction. The project will also broadly generate information and build capacity that will contribute towards reducing risk posed by other high impact zoonotic pathogens in East and West Africa.
The EPT-2 is a multi-million dollar programme covering large parts of Western, Central and Eastern Africa and Horn of Africa, the Near East and South and Southeast Asia with inputs from multiple partners, sectors and disciplines.
The Regional Laboratory Specialist will be responsible for the implementation of the laboratory aspects of the EPT-2 programme in the West and Central Africa.
The post is located at Accra Ghana with frequent travel to key countries, regions and headquarters.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Regional Laboratory Specialist reports to the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO/Chief, Animal Health Services), and works under the functional and administrative supervision of the Assistant Director General (ADG) and FAO Regional Representative for Africa in Ghana, and the direct supervision of the Regional Manager of ECTAD in West and Central Africa, in collaboration with ECTAD country team leaders in the region, the Head of the Emergency Prevention System for Animal Health (EMPRES-AH), the EMPRES Lab Unit at headquarters and the Animal production and health officers from the Regional and sub-Regional Offices and Country Offices.
Technical support and guidance to laboratory activities in West and Central Africa.
Developing, coordinating and supervising laboratory activities under the FAO component of the USAID EPT-2 programme in West and Central Africa.
- Provide technical support and guidance to the bio-surveillance component of the EPT-2 programme in alignment with the FAO recommended guidelines;
- Assist in coordinating regionally the laboratory activities designed for the prevention, control of main transboundary animal diseases (TADs);
- Assess the status of capacities in the priority EPT-2 countries of the region and develop, supervise and lead the implementation of the regional and national programmes and activities to strengthen laboratory capacity of member countries, where required;
- Review FAO Laboratory Mapping Tool results (2010-2015), and follow up for 2017;
- Support the design, supervise and lead the implementation of the regional laboratory quality assurance and biosafety and biosecurity improvement programme;
- Plan, organize and lead or support conduction of regional workshops related to laboratory diagnosis, laboratory management and other laboratory topics;
- Serve as a resource person for virological and risk modelling activities within FAO projects linked to EPT-2 and allied projects for the region;
- Coordinate with the ECTAD Country Teams to support the EPT-2 national laboratory capacity building programmes and ensure active participation of the National Animal Health Service Laboratories to the regional laboratory quality assurance and biosafety and biosecurity improvement programme;
- Contribute to strengthening, especially coordination of the laboratory networks established in West and Central Africa, assist with the identification of inputs required for this activity in connection with Ebola and HPAI surveillance programmes and other Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs);
- Serve as liaison officer with regional organizations, ECOWAS, WAEMU, ECCAS, CEBEVIRHA, OIE, AU IBAR, AU (PANVAC/AU IBAR), WHO/AFRO and Member States to support the implementation of their regional strategic frameworks relevant to laboratory capacity building and networking. This includes liaise with the RESOLAB and RESEPI Coordinators and other RESOLAB/RESEPI Working Group focal points to improve active and regular information sharing at national and at/across regional levels;
- Coordinate with AGAH HQ and FAO/IAEA, and designated OIE and/or FAO Reference Centres for (TADs) and zoonotic emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) to ensure technology, reference reagents and trouble-shooting support is made available to the member countries;
- Participate, when required, to WHO/AFRO Joint External Evaluation (JEE) missions to ensure effective contribution of the animal health sector in the implementation of the International Health Regulation (IHR, 2005) under the One health Approach;
- Enhance better cross-sectoral technical cooperation with the human health sector with respect to zoonotic diseases, particularly using FAO tools/guidelines/strategy (4-Way Linking platform, FELTPv, etc.);
- Advocate and supervise harmonization of data collection processes and sharing of data at national and regional laboratories in West and Central Africa;
- Collaborate in the elaboration of strategies for animal disease prevention management and control;
- Participate in emergency preparedness and response missions;
- Support laboratory procurement of appropriate equipment and laboratory reagents according to identified needs;
- Provide technical support to OFFLU-related activities from regional perspectives through FAO OFFLU liaison officer (HQ);
- Contribute to the preparation of project reports as required by the Governments, FAO and donors;
- Contribute to resource mobilisation through writing project proposals;
- Performs other related duties as required.
Candidates should meet the following requirements:
- University degree in veterinary science and supplemented relevant post-graduate degree from a recognized university;
- At least 10 years of proven experience in management and implementation of infectious disease control programmes in developing countries;
- Good command of English and French is essential.
- Results Focus
- Building Effective Relationships
- Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
- Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable.
- Extent of relevant experience at international level.
Based on requirements, competencies and skills.
FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.
All candidates should adhere to FAO values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.
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