Terms of Reference – Epidemiologist, Epidemiological Surveillance

Background

The Ministry of Health and Wellness seeks to strengthen the capacity for analysis of surveillance data at the national level.  This is in recognition of the increased availability of data and need for rational use of data to inform interventions. This includes the use of data generated via routine disease/event based and sentinel surveillance systems as well as the identification and harnessing of non-traditional data sources. It is apparent in light of recent outbreaks that a critical component of the national surveillance system is the ability to maintain capacity and remain resilient in the face of new public health threats.  The system must therefore be able to maintain routine data management functions while responding to increased demand for useful information synthesized in the face of public health threats.

To this end, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is building a data science team capable of processing large volumes of routine and new or Big data in ways that meet the needs of various stakeholders.  This includes building the capacity to develop and maintain resilient systems for timely data capture, processing and information synthesis and dissemination.  The data science team will consist of existing staff with the addition of data scientists and other staff who will enhance the analytical capabilities at the national level and improve the capacity for data analysis and use at the subnational levels.

An Epidemiologist will be recruited to form a bridge between the data analytical and the interpretation for public health purposes of noted phenomena.

 

Objective(s)

  • Interpret the results of data analysis
  • Support planning for mitigation of potential public health threats
  • Support programme interpretation and intervention planning in keeping with the information generated from public health data

 

Scope of Work

  • Very close liaison with data scientists and GIS Analysts for the targeted generation of HIV surveillance information
    • Deployment of electronic data collection and transmission systems in the field
    • Training of field and head office staff in HIV surveillance data use
  • Preparation of epidemiological surveillance reports and reporting requirements and templates
  • Support surveillance teams at the subnational level in generating and using information
    • Monitoring use of data at all levels
    • Monitoring use and utility of dashboards
  • Design and execution of HIV related and other scientific studies to elicit additional information
  • Use of statistical packages for additional interrogation of existing HIV surveillance data
  • Any other related duties that may be assigned by the Medical Epidemiologist
  • Support CDC-MOHW Cooperative Agreement and data science team in building capacity for analysis of HIV/AIDS related data at the national level

 

Responsibilities of the Ministry of Health and Wellness

  • The Ministry of Health and Wellness will provide access by the Epidemiologist to the relevant data and hardware and software tools to facilitate completion of specified tasks. The Ministry will also provide guidance and feedback to ensure adequacy of work outputs.

 

Responsibility of the Contractor

  • The Contractor will ensure that (i) assigned tasks and regular duties are effectively carried out in accordance with the standards and principles of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (ii) support is provided to sub-national teams in a timely manner and (iii) confidentiality is maintained in the execution of duties.

 

Accountability and Reporting Systems

  • Services will be contracted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The Contractor will report to the Medical Epidemiologist, Communicable Disease Surveillance, and will also work with the Principal Medical Officer, National Epidemiologist.

 

Deliverables

Table 1.  Deliverables and due dates

Deliverable Due
1.     Detailed work plan Monthly
2.     Report Templates for HIV surveillance reports at all levels Reviewed and revised annually and as needed
3.     Training of staff at all levels in reporting of HIV and other priority diseases Within six (6) months of signing contract
4.     Annual HIV Epidemiological Report for 2020 Within six (6) months of signing contract
5.     Training of staff in data use, at all levels Within eight (8) months of signing contract
6.     Data collection tools for HIV surveillance being utilized in the field Within eight (8) months of signing contract
7.     Epidemiological Reports (including outbreak reports) Monthly and as required

 

Eligibility Requirements

The Contractor should have:

  • An undergraduate degree from a recognized university in computing or a natural science
  • A graduate degree from a recognized university in Epidemiology or other scientific research based degree
  • A minimum of 5 years work experience in epidemiology or public health
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Proficiency in the scientific method and study design
  • Proficiency in the application of biostatistics to solving public health problems
  • Proficiency in use of STATA, SAS or R for statistical data analysis
  • In-depth understanding of the public health system in Jamaica
  • In-depth understanding of public health principles
  • Proficiency in Python or Java an asset

 

Funding

Funding for the contracted service will be supported through the CDC Cooperative Agreement allocation to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The CDC has committed to funding activities under the Cooperative Agreement for the next five years.

 

Duration

The duration of the contract will be for the period of one year. The option for renewal will be subject to the availability of additional funds from the CDC over the five years of the Cooperative Agreement.   

  Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of :
  Evaluation Criteria Max. Score Actual Score
  An undergraduate degree from a recognized university in computing or a natural science 30  
  5 years relevant work experience in epidemiology or public health 40  
  Proficiency in the application of biostatistics to solving public health problems

 

20  
  Proficiency in use of STATA, SAS or R for statistical data analysis

 

10  
  Total Score 100  

 

Candidate must attain a minimum mark of 70 to be considered