Please find below an urgent request from WHO/GOARN for technical assistance for cholera risk assessment in Iraq. If you have such expertise, please send your CV to: and with cc: to and
WHO/GOARN Request for technical assistance for Cholera Control in Northern Iraq
Date: 21 May 2014
WHO Region: Eastern Mediterranean
Type: Request for assistance
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria has resulted in considerable displacement of Syrian populations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Majority of these displaced populations are living in refugee camps in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The number of camps has increased significantly in recent time owing to increased number of Syrian refugees. The living conditions in camps are characterized by overcrowding and overstrained water and sanitation situation, despite ongoing efforts by the government and partners to improve living conditions for the refugees in the camps. These factors can increase the risk of diarrheal diseases; cholera is of particular concern given its potential to cause large scale morbidity and mortality in such settings as well as due to the fact that cholera is endemic in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Large scale outbreaks of cholera have been reported in Kurdistan region in 2007 and also in 2012.
As the summer season is soon approaching, there is an enhanced apprehension that the water insecurity in the camps may also contribute to increased episodes of epidemic diarrhoeal diseases amongst the refugees in the camps. Considering this risk, the MoH Iraq has requested WHO to provide technical support for assessment of risk of cholera in Iraq as well as organize training on case management with special focus in refugee settings with a view to improving outbreak preparedness and response capacity of the local health authorities for control of epidemic diarrhoeal diseases.
In 2013, GOARN has deployed a multidisciplinary team of six experts to Northern Iraq-Dohuk and Erbil camps- to assist the MOH with a risk assessment of cholera and diahorreal disease outbreaks and assist the MOH in preparing for adequate health intervention in response. Details on the response operation is available on the GAORN SharePoint (for members only): http://workspace.who.int/sites/goarn/Lists/Updates/DForm.aspx?ID=6712 .
Request for assistance
WHO is requesting assistance from GOARN partners to identify the following cholera and diarrhoeal diseases expertise to support the Ministry of Health of Iraq in cholera risk assessment and immediate preparedness activities to improve the health outcomes of the Syrian refugees current living in camps in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
· two (2) epidemiologists
· two (2) clinical management experts
· one (1) environmental health expert (WATSAN)
· one (1)laboratory expert
Terms of Reference
GOARN experts would join a technical mission of WHO and MOH staff and deploy to the area to prepare for cholera outbreak response among the populations at risk with the following terms of reference
I. To assess the risk of cholera and other epidemic diarrhoeal diseases outbreak in the recently established refugee camps in northern Iraq including determination of
a. Epidemiological characteristics of past known outbreaks including known endemicity patterns that may amplify the risk;
b. Vulnerable factors amongst the refugee camps that may predispose the risk;
c. Environmental risk factors prevailing in the camps that may enhance the risk ;
d. Health services in the camps that may otherwise play a part in effective control.
II. To assess surveillance, outbreak preparedness and response capacity including;
a. EWARS capacity for timely detection of cholera outbreak
b. Laboratory diagnostic capacity for suspected epidemic diarrhoeal disease including cholera
c. Evaluation of on-going public health measures to identify critical gaps in the areas of (case management, outbreak detection, rapid investigation, SOPs, emergency stockpiles, etc);
d. Collaboration, coordination and partnerships among key sectors including health, environmental health, water and sanitations, and health promotion.
III. To provide guidance and advise on updating/ revising the cholera preparedness plan based on the risk assessment including:
a. Conducting any training activities in specific areas as needed.
· University/post graduate degree in the above mentioned respective areas/fields.
· Previous experience in Cholera response activities during disease outbreaks is essential, with particular emphasis on capacity building.
· Demonstrated knowledge of working in the context of outbreak response situations including field based investigations and rapid assessments in respective areas of work.
· Experience in or knowledge of WHO mandate and goals in outbreaks or experience in UN organizations/agencies or international institution.
6 day mission starting 13 June 2014 (this excludes travel time).
Northern Iraq (Kurdistan region).
All candidates must be fluent in English- written, spoken and comprehension. Fluency in Arabic is an asset.
Knowledge, abilities and skills
All candidates are expected to demonstrate the following
* Ability to conceptualize and promote innovative strategies and policies.
* Ability to communicate and write in a clear concise manner, and to develop effective guidelines.
* Excellent negotiation and interpersonal skills complemented by ability to motivate and lead others and to promote consensus. Tact, discretion and diplomacy
* Demonstrated ability for project appraisal, project management, monitoring and evaluation and project impact assessment.
* Ability to work with host governments and their agents, INGOs and national NGOs an advantage.
* Proven experience of managing a large workload and multiple priorities.
* Ability to work in difficult conditions.
Support to the mission
WHO/GOARN will cover the travel and per diem (to cover daily expense in the field) expenses for the duration of their mission. GOARN missions do NOT offer salary, consultancy fees or any other form of remuneration.
WHO will provide appropriate logistics support for the field mission. Pre-deployment orientation/training may be required at WHO.
Partners offers of assistance
Partners are requested to reply with offers of assistance, together with CVs and details of the availability of staff for this mission by email to latest by 30 May 2014. Details of all offers from partners and eventual deployments will be maintained on the GOARN SharePoint.
Mamunur Malik WHO EMRO
William Perea WHO HQ
Patrick Drury GOARN