Fonction : Epidemiologist(s)
Employeur : 
Lieu d’exercice : 
French Polynesia (through WPRO Division of Pacific Technical Support/DPS). Tahiti, French Polynesia (the duty station may change based on the technical requirements of the emergency assignment)
Planned timelines Start date : November 2020
End date : December/January 2020


Consultants are being recruited to provide technical assistance for epidemiology to the ongoing COVID-19 response activities in French Polynesia.

On 31 December 2019, WHO was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The pathogen was subsequently identified as a SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) with cases detected worldwide. On 31 January 2020, WHO declared the Public Health Emergency of International Concern and COVID-19 has been characterized as pandemic by the WHO Director-General.

As cases continue to be reported globally, enhanced preparedness and response efforts are required in the Region.

French Polynesia managed to maintain many months with no or very few COVID-19 cases, however caseloads have increased since early September 2020 following the reopening of the country to international travel in mid-July. As of mid-October, contact tracing, testing and case management capacities are approaching the limits of current capacities.

Outbreak Response

The purpose of this emergency deployment is to support effective country response operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a technical focus on surveillance/epidemiology, as part of the “Platforme COVID-19” under the Ministry of Health & Prevention in French Polynesia.

WHO seeks the support of external consultants to assist for a period of 2-3 months


Under the overall supervision of the WHO Incident Manager and under the guidance of the surveillance lead, consultants will provide technical and operational assistance to COVID-19 response activities in French Polynesia

Method(s) to carry out the activity

Consultants will be assigned to:

  • Provide technical support and assist in the development of surveys and monitoring/surveillance systems for detection, verification/investigation and response; ensuring efficiency of data collection, correlation, analysis, interpretation and timely reporting at health facility at the district levels.
  • Support/undertake case investigation and contact tracing, with a focus on identifying high-risk contacts to break chains of community transmission.
  • Collate and verify data on cluster outbreaks or rumours received from multiple sources, conduct analysis of reported incidents: determine trends, distribution patterns, and efficiency of the verification mechanism.
  • Contribute in building the core surveillance, alert and response capacities; provide trainings for surveillance and health facility staff, support the team in the supervision and on-the-job training at country and health facility levels.
  • Prepare and disseminate situational reports, technical documents, updates and assessments to key decision-makers in the organizational hierarchy and to the country health authorities, as required using standard tools and templates
  • Perform any other incident-specific related duties, as required by the Incident Manager;


• Submission of a report at the end of the consultancy.


  • Experience leading and implementing case identification, investigation and contact tracing efforts.
  • Sound knowledge and skills in database management and statistical analysis, secondary data review, survey designing and implementation, monitoring and evaluation systems design or use, and public health information management.
  • Proven ability to multitask across various planning and implementation processes within a highly demanding environment, with a strong ability to synthesize information to inform action.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, competency and professional skills on the public health aspects of infectious disease control, epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response with particular attention to application of an all hazard approach in the context of the International Health Regulations and the use of event based and indicator based surveillance, as well as descriptive epidemiology and principles of public health in communicable disease surveillance and response.

First university degree in epidemiology, statistics, database management or public health from an accredited/recognized institute.An advanced university degree in health related field or quantitative epidemiology, specialized training in communicable diseases.

  • Experience required:

At least five years related field experience, at the national and international levels, in implementation of public health surveillance, outbreak investigation and response. Previous experience in implementation of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) is a requirement.

  • Experience desired:

Experience in the Pacific and/or other Small Island Developing States. Previous experience working in collaboration with multiple actors in public health surveillance is desirable.

  • Skills / Technical skills and knowledge:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent analytical, planning and organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a team with limited supervision
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Language requirements:

Fluent written and spoken English and French required.

Other skills:

Skills in GIS mapping, database management and statistical analysis, secondary data review, survey designing and implementation, monitoring and evaluation systems design or use, and public health information management.

Good computer skills in Microsoft office, EPI Info, SPSS and GIS

  • Competencies
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Moving forward in a changing environment
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Fostering Integration and team work
  • Communication in a credible and effective way


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