URGENT FIELD NEED - Epilepsy Specialist

MSF is currently looking for:

EPILEPSY SPECIALIST IN LIBERIA

You are responsible to collaborate with MSF and the Ministry of Health (MOH) clinicians on the integration of epileptic treatment within the mental health program with basic healthcare services in order to ensure appropriate treatment of patients suffering from severe and common epileptic disorders.

Background:

MSF ran an Ebola survivor care project following the large Ebola outbreak in Liberia and other West African countries. This program included mental health care services to address the high level of mental health needs linked to the hemorrhagic fever outbreak but also because of the prolonged conflict which affected Liberia for almost two decades with a high level of violence (a large number of atrocities and 250.000 death in a country of 3.5 million people). Qualified mental health care is largely unavailable in Liberia. There is a 70-bed national psychiatric hospital (E.S. Grant Hospital) which operates with great difficulty. There is one part-time Liberian psychiatrist.

At the end of 2016, the decision was taken to close the Ebola survivor care project and to assess Mental Health needs in the country with the idea to start offering mental health services. The evaluation led to the opening of a Mental Health (MH) project in Monrovia. Though epilepsy is not a mental health issue, it is considered as such (or as a spiritual and/or contagious disease) and widely prevalent in Liberia. The program will position itself on this pathology and try to relocate it as a health issue while offering care management to patients identified with such symptoms. The program aims to improve access to mental health and epilepsy care services within Montserrado County through diagnosis, treatment, and referrals in four Primary Health Care Centers (PHCC). The project started in early September when the first patients were admitted.

Reporting to: 

Hierarchical:       Mental Health Project Coordinator

Functional:          Medical Coordinator

Main Accountabilities:

  • Training and mentorship of the staff in the health center, the community and MSF team
    • Supervise clinicians’ prescriptions and ensure that the right dosage and frequencies are applied according to available protocols and adjusted appropriately according to a clinical condition.
    • Conduct training/coaching on epilepsy diagnosis and management to MOH and MSF clinical staff (nurses and PAs) in the program.
    • Conduct training sessions with Community workers (in charge of community sensitization, case finding, home visits, and reduction of stigma), with a particular focus on health education and follow-up.
    • Support the team for difficult cases. Collaborate with the MH team/psychiatrist to review cases of misdiagnosed epilepsy as psychiatry cases and place patients on appropriate medications/counseling as the case may be.
  • Evaluate the current management of epilepsy and propose improvements
    • With Medco and in collaboration with the medical department, review and update the epilepsy algorithms and protocols (peds and adults) when required.
    • Support the team in identifying gaps and implementing best practices/models of care for this context.
  • Support the coordination and project teams in the management of the project
    • With the MH Activity Manager and Pharmacist, prepare anti-epileptic drug orders in line with international medical order planning.
    • Participate in meetings as a member of the MH team.
    • Support the team in the implementation of the decentralization of epilepsy patient care and work on the establishment of a stable patient’s appointment system.

Profile/Requirements :

    • Medical Doctor (MD), Physician Assistant (PA), or Nurse Practitioner (NP) specialized in neurology/epilepsy management
    • Solid experience in neurology/epilepsy management with adults (peds experience is an asset). At least 3 years of clinical experience
    • Last clinical experience within 1 year
    • Tropical Medicine is an asset
    • Previous work experience in low- and middle-income countries is an asset
    • Experience with teaching/training activities and team capacity building
    • Good command of English (written and spoken) as the language of the duty station
    • Flexibility and teamwork

 Terms of employment

    • Full-time international staff position based in Monrovia/Liberia.
    • 2-month contract
    • Salary according to the MSF salary grid and previous relevant experiences.        
    • Starting date: as soon as possible

Please send your application (motivation letter and CV) to rogier.van.helmond@newyork.msf.org

Successful candidates will be contacted for an interview

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