Introduction to the APMEN Surveillance and Response Working Group
Malaria elimination requires strong, evidence-based surveillance strategies that allow programs to identify and respond to every malaria infection. High quality, up-to-date-surveillance data must inform the development of targeted control strategies to best use the narrowing resources available to malaria elimination programs. Despite established norms and standards, there remain significant gaps in knowledge, capacity and quality of surveillance and response interventions in many countries in the Asia Pacific Region. There are also gaps in evidence on the optimal, cost-effective surveillance strategies needed for diverse epidemiological, ecological and sociocultural contexts.
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) Surveillance and Response Working Group brings together malaria programs, implementing and research partners, WHO and other relevant organizations to fill gaps and find answers to these remaining questions. Malaria programs share their best practices and experiences, learning from and cooperating with each other through this platform. Malaria programs and the research and implementing organizations share information on latest research, tools and methods and help programs identify challenges that require operational research and/or tool development.
The Surveillance and Response Working Group (SRWG) has identified priority programmatic and research topics to target in future work plans, which are developed on an annual basis. These priorities are in alignment with the new WHO Malaria Elimination: An Operational Manual. Working through the APMEN initiative, priority work areas for the period 2017– 2020 are to provide a technical forum that will:
1. Support APMEN countries in developing and implementing national case-based surveillance and response work plans, determining gaps and providing opportunities for capacity building. This work will be aligned with the new version of WHO Malaria elimination: an Operational Manual and adapted to suit national malaria program context.
2. Assist national programs with development of case and foci-based surveillance activities. This work will include a focus on:
- Case reporting analysis
- Case investigation and classification
- Foci survey and mapping
- Intervention targeting
- Identification of high risk populations and determination of vulnerability
- Development of tools, such as Standard Operating Procedures.
3. Enable information sharing of trends of malaria incidence and imported cases across regions, subregions and across borders.
4. Collaborate with the Vivax Working Group and Vector Control Working Group (funding permitting) to identify best practices of applying ultrasensitive diagnostic methods, identify submicroscopic infections, vector surveillance and mapping, and determination of receptivity.
The objectives and activities of the APMEN Surveillance and Response Working Group will contribute to the following APLMA Roadmap Priorities:
- Priority #2: Map, prevent, test and treat the disease everywhere
- Priority #4: Improve targeting and efficiency to maximize impact
Terms of Reference for the APMEN SRWG Coordinator
The APMEN SRWG seeks to hire a full-time Coordinator to report on the gaps in surveillance and response reporting activities of APMEN countries that will be used as a key reference document for the development of:
- A technical brief for surveillance and response systems in the context of WHO recommendations for malaria surveillance for elimination;
- A strategy to support APMEN country efforts for surveillance and response;
- Expansion of the APMEN SRWG 2018-19 workplan that focuses on developing systems to evaluate the 1-3-7 surveillance/response approach for use among High-Risk Populations (HRPs), in cross-border issues, and in post-elimination surveillance and response; and
- In at least one country, assess the implications of the varied reporting requirements of WHO and donors on malaria data quality and coverage.
Terms of work of this person are:
- Coordinate the work of the APMEN SRWG and lead communications with APMEN SRWG partners (country partners and partner institutions);
- Under the supervision of the APMEN SRWG and its co-chairs, map surveillance and response activities and best practices in the APMEN countries that apply the 1-3-7 strategy (e.g. Cambodia, Laos PDR, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam). Ensure broad dissemination to all APMEN countries.
- Identify opportunities and roles of corporate and private sector for malaria surveillance using the 1-3-7 strategy;
- Document other innovative surveillance and response work and activities (including those of APMEN partner institutions that could support APMEN countries);
- Work with the APMEN Secretariat to plan and coordinate the annual SRWG meeting in Q3/Q4 of 2018; and
- Supporting fundraising efforts for the APMEN SRWG to ensure its continuation beyond mid-2019.
The position is based in the Malaria Consortium office in the University of Mahidol, Bangkok, Thailand. The contract is for a period of 12 months from date of hire. Continuation of the position is dependent on availability of funding.
Qualifications, required expertise, experience and skills
- In-depth knowledge of malaria surveillance and response especially in Asia Pacific region, and the regional malaria elimination landscape;
- Minimum 5 years' experience with public health field epidemiology; and
- Advanced degree in epidemiology and/or public health field.
- Communicate effectively with government officials, key stakeholders and other APMEN WGs;
- Meet deadlines while working under tight timelines;
- Represent APMEN SRWG to promote the initiative; and
- Maintain a respectable reputation.
Please send your CV with relevant information to the APMEN Secretariat at email@example.com by 5 PM on 16 March 2018. For more details, please contact Dr. Myo Min (firstname.lastname@example.org). Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASE THREATS INITIATIVE, INCORPORATING ASIA PACIFIC LEADERS MALARIA ALLIANCE (APLMA), #04-01/02 HELIOS, 11 BIOPOLIS WAY, SINGAPORE 138667