University of Washington School of Public Health

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Community Health Specialist - Peace Corps

Location: (Cameroon)
Full-time position
Closing Date: April 1, 2019
Job #13517
Posted: January 10, 2019
Description:
The purpose of the Community Health Program is to empower health care workers, individuals and communities to reduce maternal, neonatal, and child morbidity and mortality, and prevent and mitigate Malaria, and HIV and AIDS. Community Health Specialists often work alongside health professionals in rural health facilities including HIV Treatment Centers. 

Community Health Specialists are expected to conduct certain activities throughout their two years of service. This work requires personal motivation, dedication, and resiliency to accomplish.

Program Goals:

i) Community members will adopt behaviors and practices that contribute to improved maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes

ii) Community members and community outreach agents will adopt behaviors and practices that lead to a decrease in morbidity and mortality due to malaria

iii) Community members will adopt healthy behaviors and practices to decrease the spread of HIV and mitigate its harmful effects. 

Community Health Specialists will accomplish these goals through four key areas of intervention: 

1. Education of individuals and groups on mother and child health and improved nutritional practices

2. Mobiliization of communities to support mother and child health and nutrition

3. Formation and strengthening care groups that address mother and child health, nutrition, malaria, and/or HIV prevention

4. Linkage of people living with HIV (PLHIV) to treatment and other HIV services

Cameroon promotes gender awareness, gender-equitable norms, as well as girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in country and will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.

 

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria: 

• Master of Public Health degree or Master of Arts/Master of Science degree in Public Health 

• Certified Physician Assistant or Public Health Nurse with expressed interest in public/community health 

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Health, or Nursing

 

Desired Skills

 

Most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications and qualities:

• Five years of professional work experience in the field of public health

• Familiarity with health work particularly maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and malaria

• Desire to work at the community/rural level to meet the communities’ health needs

• Willingness to work in a team environment as well as be a dedicated self-starter, independent and resilient

• Strong communication and relationship building skills

• Flexibility and willingness to learn new knowledge, skills and attitudes

• Experience in project planning is an added advantage

• Interest in development work in general, health promotion/education, and behavior change

 

Required Language Skills

 

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position. 
A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language 
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language 
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker 
Candidates should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self‐study and a subsequent placement test (score of 50 on the French College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI)).
 
French language skills are needed to successfully navigate work and community life. It is also necessary to travel safely and to interact and to communicate effectively in Cameroon. All Volunteers must attain a functional French level by the end of 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training (PST). Some Volunteers will learn a language in addition to French that is widely used in the local community.

It is highly recommended that Invitees take an intensive French course before departing USA. While Cameroon has two official languages: French and English, most Volunteers will speak French, some will also speak Fulfulde and use an additional local language while at site. While language is an important factor in selecting the Volunteer’s site, many other factors come into consideration. Volunteers are expected to be flexible for his/her assignment and give his/her best in order to promote good health practices in Cameroon.

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