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Associate Public Health Officer at UNHCR

Mission and objectives
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a UN agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.


The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (
UNHCR Operations in Tanzania is managing a camp-based Persons We Serve (PWS) population of 249,383 refugees of whom 66.83% of the population are influx (Burundians) and 33.97 % are Congolese as of 31 March 2023. The refugees are currently situated in 2 namely Nyarugusu (131,811 PWS) and Nduta (76,176 PWS) located in northwestern Tanzania. UNHCR Tanzania, in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania and representatives of the donor community, has also been providing durable solutions for thousands of refugees through voluntary repatriation, local integration through naturalization and resettlement. As part of the basic needs for refugees, Public Health including Reproductive, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition services remains crucial and significant making it one of the key sectors of UNHCR refugee operation. This is in addition to other basic services including Shelter, water and sanitation facilities and etc. It is important to ensure effectivities delivery of health services and also ensure that refugees received the required services and are involved in delivery and management of services. In view of this, the incumbent will need to support the Public Health Officer to good coordination among the stakeholders in the health programme to minimize avoidable illness and mortality rates through proper programming. The incumbent will also work closely with the Ministry of Health, Health partners and other UN agencies on matters related to the entire health programmes of the refugees. In addition, he/she would identify and address issues of public health importance to all UNHCR programmes including care and maintenance, reception of new arrivals, resettlement, and repatriation. The incumbent will be based in Kasulu Field Office and directly cover Nyarugusu Camp.

Task description
Within the delegated authority and under the overall supervision of Head of Field Office, Kasulu or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UN Volunteer Associate Public Health Officer will:

Programme planning, monitoring and evaluation together with UNHCR partners to effectively address issues of public health importance, based on the principles of public health and Primary Health care in the refugee camps and transit centers as well as in the areas of return for returnees.
•Ensure the public health services provided by partner to refugees and returnees are complying with the required national and international standards. Guide and support partners to use the UNHCR Health Information System and collect UNHCR statistics verifying Core Standards and Indicators; review monthly health data; and compile technical periodic reports as well as the Annual report on the health situation.
•Ensure implementation of appropriate country protocols and guidance and adherence to UNHCR specific guidance for public health programming.
•Support partners in the implementation of the public health programmes, including reproductive health, HIV and mental health.
•Provide guidance and follow up to partners in the implementation of UNHCR action plans including for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
•Provide technical contributions during planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation process in the UNHCR program cycle.
•Ensure timely coordination and implementation of UNHCR led programmes

Coordination of services between UNHCR partners, National and international NGOs, other UN agencies, and Ministry of Health, and other sectors; ensuring early engagement of development agencies as appropriate.
•Capacity building of partners and refugee health officials as appropriate in identified areas of weakness; facilitation of partners’ access to training activities conducted by other agencies, with a particular focus on health information and disease surveillance; malaria management; safe motherhood; integrated management of childhood Illness.
•Participate in advocacy, information sharing and communication on the health situation of populations of concern, within UNHCR and among partners, donors, other agencies, and the Government.
•Acts as focal point for UNHCR for any health and medical matters in relation with the UNHCR strategy.

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•Participate actively in appropriate groups on the health, population, HIV/AIDS, and other cross cutting working groups and or forums related to health and medical issues, with the aim to anchor refugees and returnees’ health concerns and needs into the ONE UN health program.
•Coordinate and lead monthly health coordination meetings with implementing partners, in close coordination with the programme section.
•Coordinate the medical referral activities from the camp health facilities to the district and regional referral hospitals and insure adherence to the referral SOP and UNHCR referral guidelines.
•Support the implementation of proper drug management system according to UNHCR guideline and work with the IPs in the preparation and finalizing the essential drug list.
•Update the epidemic contingency plans for the common epidemics in the area and insure availability of supplies stock in the camp.
•Actively participate and engage with Community Services unit and NGO implementing partners in organizing and conducting participatory assessments with persons of concern to UNHCR to assist in analyzing the service delivery gaps identified in Health and nutrition and involve refugees by age and gender to brainstorm in finding solution options for the problems.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:

•Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
•Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country.
•Provide annual and end of assignment self- reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities.
•Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.
•Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly arrived UN Volunteers.
•Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.