Local recruitment: Infection Prevention and Control and WASH Specialist

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Sierra Leone 🇸🇱

Requisition ID: req25364

Job Title: Infection Prevention and Control and WASH Specialist

Sector: Health

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: Sierra Leone

Job Description

The International Rescue Committee, one of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies, provides relief, rehabilitation, and post-conflict reconstruction support to victims of natural disaster, oppression, and violent conflict in 42 countries. The IRC has worked in Sierra Leone since 1999 and currently programs across three core sectors: 1) Health 2) Women and Girls’ Protection and Empowerment (WGPE), and 3) Education. The IRC is committed to supporting the Government of Sierra Leone in the strengthening of the country and has offices in Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, and Kono, with national geographic reach through partners. We seek to build upon our programming experience and introduce new programs that are adaptive, collaborative and evidence-driven, leading to a more educated, safe, healthy, and empowered Sierra Leone.
Infection prevention and control (IPC) is an essential component of healthcare quality and patient safety. In its operational districts, the IRC plans to support district hospitals and primary health care units (PHUs) in Sierra Leone to improve their IPC practices with the goal to reduce mortality and morbidity due to hospital (or healthcare) associated infections (HAIs). Rigorous infection control systems need to be in place to reduce transmission risks for health workers and patients to improve outcomes with focus on maternal health, hence IPC efforts will be focused on maternity services. It is expected that IPC efforts will be integrated in routine activities within the hospitals and PHUs to be supported (namely Kenema, with likely extension to Bo and other IRC-operational districts) and that this will contribute to reductions in occurrence of hospital-acquired postpartum infections and associated mortality among mothers. To achieve this, the IRC plans to recruit one IPC Specialist to lead IPC interventions at the two hospitals (in Kenema and Bo), and any other health facilities as maybe determined during planning or implementation. The IPC Specialist will provide day-to-day support to the health facilities (with focus on maternity) to improve their IPC practices and ensure IPC standards are integrated within routine service delivery.
Scope of work
Reporting to the Sr Health Coordinator, the IPC specialist will work in collaboration with MoHS staff at national and district level to improve IPC practices and structures within supported health facilities in IRC-operational districts, providing training and mentorship for healthcare workers and generating learning and best practices to inform national level strategies and policies.
The key responsibilities are summarized as follows:
Participate in the national level working group discussions on IPC and contribute to review of SOPs and training manuals for IPC, as needed.
Ensure supported health facilities in IRC supported districts have access to all relevant IPC tools and SOPs.
Work with health facility IPC focal persons, management, patient safety committee and head of maternity to ensure clear understanding and implementation of IPC procedures in the clinical context, especially in maternity.
Conduct baseline assessment on status of IPC implementation in IRC-supported health facilities and use findings as benchmark to monitor progress made.
As needed, lead implementation of IRC’s WASH and IPC activities in health facilities and, where appropriate, at community level with oversight of all water, sanitation, and hygiene activities, ensuring that activities are relevant, successfully implemented, and sustainable.
Support the development and implementation of action points based on assessment findings.
Based on gaps identified through the baseline assessment, conduct on-site trainings in IRC-supported health facilities on IPC for maternity staff, in collaboration with MoHS.
Facilitate supportive supervision visits from national level by IRC and MOHS.
Support documentation and management of IPC data in maternity units in supported health facilities. This will include investigations of all incidences of health worker and/or patient infections and report on incidents to the hospital IPC committee and patient safety committee.
Support the hospital team to identify causes of infections and facilitate them to prioritize and develop appropriate quality improvement plans.
Support hospital with advocacy efforts at DHMT and national level to increase focus on IPC in health facilities.
Prepare and submit monthly reports, and other reports as required/requested, on progress of implementation of IPC activities to IRC.
Manage program budget related to implementation of IPC activities.
Analyze monthly and share results and lessons learnt during dissemination meetings at national level or as maybe required from time to time.
Contribute to new business development on WASH and IPC.
Any other activities as may be assigned by supervisor.


Training as medical doctor or midwife or registered nurse, environmental health, or related field.
Additional training in public health is desirable.
Training in WASH and IPC a plus.
Over 8 years of demonstrated experience in implementing WASH and IPC practices and systems improvement, ideally in a low resource setting.
Extensive experience in training and mentoring health providers on IPC in clinical contexts in Sierra Leone.
Strong technical leadership, management, planning, analytical and coordination skills.
Experience in program management in similar settings.
Willingness and ability to work in clinical environments, particularly in maternity.
Ability to work with limited supervision.


The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct.  These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability.  In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC is equal opportunity employer, considered all the candidates based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran, or disability.