Health Promoters are the essential liaison point between MSF’s services and the community that we want to support.
As a Health Promoter (HP) you aim to improve the knowledge of a broad range of health topics within the target population and the acceptance of the health services we provide by understanding the local culture and practices. The topics are manifold: hygiene, nutrition, chronic diseases, infectious diseases, epidemic outbreaks, mental health, sexual reproductive health and violence. You will develop strategies for Information, Education and Communication to address this wide range of health issues, enabling communities to protect themselves against diseases and/or encourage the effective use of health services.
As a Health Promoter you will assess the needs, define the appropriate strategy in collaboration with medical colleagues and implement it together with your team of local health promoters and community health workers. Recruiting, training and supervising this team will be one of your core responsibilities.
HPs are needed in a broad variety of projects and the focus of your work will vary depending on the emphasis of the project you’re assigned to. Your expertise is needed in all kinds of acute emergency projects (vaccination campaigns, nutrition programmes, Ebola and other epidemic outbreaks, flooding and other natural disasters, acute refugee crises). You can also work in chronic conflict areas (basic health care in insecure rural areas, long term refugee camps, urban slums) or in more stable settings with a strong focus on local capacity building (e.g: in projects focussing on chronic diseases like HIV, tuberculosis or diabetes).
It is an exciting and diverse role involving some or all of the following:
- Analyse and understand local behaviour and practices to adapt the health services we provide to the needs of the target group
- Together with your team, research, design and implement appropriate HP activities which are adapted to the needs of the local community in order to increase knowledge about health-related issues and services provided by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders
- Coordinate the HP activities with the other departments (medical, water & sanitation and logistics), the communities involved and other actors including the ministry of health and NGOs.
- Define the HP strategy and related activities through an annual project and budget plan
- Assess and adapt materials according to the needs of the project and in compliance with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders medical and ethical standards
- Recruit, train, manage and supervise the local HP team
- Contribute to monthly reports according to guidelines (statistical reports, etc.)
You will be part of an international and interdisciplinary team, where each member will contribute his or her specific professional expertise aiming to benefit local communities.
- A degree or a professional training in nursing, anthropology, education or other relevant social sciences ideally with an anthropological/ethnological focus or emphasis in the medical field
- A minimum of two years relevant professional experience in health promotion or related awareness-raising activities in communities or local associations (e.g. sexual reproductive health promotion in schools, violence prevention, community outreach with commercial sex workers or outreach with people who are homeless or drug users)
- At least one year of work experience in countries with low resources – ideally with other NGOs, or with a relevant research background or relevant longer-term volunteer engagement (e.g. working in youth or homelessness programs, or schooling/education programs)
- Fluency in English and a second relevant language (French, Arabic, Portuguese or Spanish)
- Excellent intercultural skills and sensitivity, flexibility to adapt communication to the needs of counterparts and beneficiaries
- Experience in motivating a team to work together for the same goal and creating a working atmosphere that supports learning processes
- Minimum availability of 9 months, with an interest in committing for a period of 3-5 years, and willingness to work where it is needed most, including unstable environments
- Commitment to the values of the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders charter
- As a plus: experience in supervising, managing and training staff or volunteers, and for non-medical staff, some exposure to medical topics