International Medical Corps has been operating in CAR since 2007, primarily in the north-eastern regions of Vakaga and Haute-Kotto, as well as in the Ouaka prefecture, where it is targeting provision of support to IDPs and host population.
In CAR, IMC is supporting more than 50 health structures and 3 hospital through direct services and support to existing health systems through collaboration with the Ministry of Health. In addition, IMC provides direct services to affected population through Mobile Medical Units. Given the recent degradation of health and nutritional status of the population affected by the conflicts ongoing in CAR, IMC’s approach integrates health, nutrition, protection, and WASH activities for a comprehensive package of services.
Following the escalation of conflict in Haute Kotto prefecture starting May 2017, massive population displacement exacerbated the needs around Bria City, where almost 70,000 people became displaced, and in Ouaka prefecture, which received an influx of IDPs from Haute Kotto as well as Basse Kotto prefectures. The IDPs settled in IDP sites as well as in host families, and their access to health, nutrition, protection, and WASH services was severely affected, creating excess morbidity and mortality in population.
The 12-month OFDA project aims to reduce excess morbidity and mortality in Ouaka and Haute Kotto prefectures, which have been deeply affected by conflict and displacement.
Under this Action, International Medical Corps will provide life-saving services to these populations. In Haute Kotto, IMC provides direct services through Mobile Medical Units (MMU) and through community health actions, as well as through support to the maternity ward in Bria Hospital, which is the only medical center providing secondary care in the entire health district. In Ouaka, IMC supports the two fixed health facilities whose capacity to provide services has been significantly affected due to influx of IDPs into area. In addition, a mental health program will allow for management of mental illness in seven of health facilities, in addition to the Bambari Hospital. Emphasis will be placed on community engagement and intersectionality of interventions. In both of the areas, this project will complement existing Actions, both implemented by IMC and other partners, and will provide holistic health, nutrition, protection, and WASH services.
Under the overall guidance of the IMC Field manager and the Medical Director, s/he will implement and manage the mental health component of the program in Ouaka, according to the project proposal.
The mains objectives of this position are:
· To ensure that mental health (MH) services are integrated into general health care focusing on the following priority mental health conditions (and excluding the other ones): depression, psychosis, epilepsy, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as PTSD and acute stress.
· Design a MH curriculum and training materials in line with WHO’s mhGAP Intervention Guidelines.
· Provide theoretical training and supportive supervision / on the job training for health care providers, NGO staff, and community health workers (CHWs) and other volunteers in supported health structures.
· Provide mental health services including pharmacological and psychosocial interventions.
· Strengthen referral pathways and support CHWs in conducting community outreach and mental health promotion.
· Support psychosocial activities in Women and Girl Friendly Spaces (WGFS) and Youth Centers.
The psychiatrist reports directly to the field manager with technical support from the medical director.
Essential Job duties/Scope of Work:
· Provide training in the identification and management of priority mental health conditions to general health staff in line with WHO mhGAP Intervention Guidelines (WHO mhGAP-IG) and in coordination with national authorities and the IMC Technical Unit. Adhere to the priority mental health conditions targeted by the program (psychosis, depression, epilepsy, alcohol and drug abuse, PTSD, and acute stress) and exclude the other ones.
· Support the integration of mental health at the health facility level by utilizing IMCs MH PHC checklist and standards, providing feedback to clinic and IMC management and supporting sustainable and measurable systems-level integration.
· Facilitate multi-disciplinary team meetings and case discussion among more specialized and general health staff
· Identify and train local CHWs/volunteers and other NGO staff in community outreach, case finding and mental health promotion.
· Provide mental health and psychosocial support consultations and services along with identified health staff as needed within the health facilities, as well as in WGFS and Youth Centers.
· Facilitate trainings of Psychological First Aid for health facility and IMC staff, as well as CHWs/ protection committees / volunteers.
· In collaboration with health promoter and other program staff, develop and updated information education and communication tools, focusing on mental health and its integration within primary health and other sectors.
· Ensure completion and analysis of pre and post knowledge tests, training evaluations and on the job supervision checklists.
· Ensure that WHO essential psychotropic medications are available at health facilities.
· Take responsibility for collection and reporting of mental health project data including HMIS reporting and patient outcomes (e.g. functioning, satisfaction with services).
· Actively lead or participate in coordination mechanisms (e.g. Health, general coordination, potential MHPSS coordination group) and advocate for principles of IASC MHPSS guidelines.
· Assist with hiring and supervision of national staff as needed.
· Implement the project in line with IMC and global MHPSS standards and guidelines and closely coordinate with IMC Technical Unit Global Mental Health Advisor for development and review of training materials, documentation and reports.
· Ensure adequate provision and management psychotropic drugs.
· Elaborate weekly, monthly and ad-hoc reports and data collection on mental health. Contribute to donor’s reports/proposals regarding mental health activity.
· Actively participate in advocacy for mental health on local, national, and international level, and increase visibility for mental health activities undertaken as a part of this project.
The duties and responsibilities listed are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and are not necessarily all inclusive.
· University degree in psychiatric medicine with 3+ years of experience working on MHPSS programs, preferably in humanitarian settings.
· Fluency in French required. Basic to good level of English is required.
· Strong organizational and supervisory skills.
· Training and supervision experience required.
· Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work within different cultural environments.
· Ability to work in difficult environments under very basic living conditions.
· Ability to work within a team structure or in isolation, flexible, and ability to cope with stressful workloads and working with limited resources.
· Computer literacy is an added value.
· Profound cross-cultural awareness and insight into health care issues.
· Ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions independently.