Medical Referent (m/f)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), BRUSSELS + FIELD, Belgium

Skill Required:, HR and AdminProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
27th December, 2016

Job Description


The project is located in the district of Kenema, Sierra Leone, which together with Kono and Kailahun belongs to what is called the eastern region (or eastern province) of the country. The district counts 654,124 inhabitants.

Human Resources for Health in Kenema district were particularly hard hit by the Ebola epidemic, notably at Kenema General Hospital, where many employees died from Ebola.

Kenema district is the epicentre of Lassa fever, a haemorrhagic fever transmitted through contact with fluids of sick patients or excreta of a rat of the genus mastomyst.

OCB supported 123 PHC facilities during a 9-month short-term project (that finished at the end of March 2016) by providing training staff and treatment of children under 5 against three major killers (ARI, diarrhoea and malaria), upgrading 6 delivery rooms (rehabilitation/water access/light) and supporting 5 vaccination rounds follow by a coverage survey.

OCB is also currently planning a project addressing mother and child health at primary health level in 2 remote chiefdoms of the district (Gorama Mende and Wandor).

Rationale of the project

Following the Ebola epidemic, access to care in Sierra Leone, especially secondary paediatrics and obstetrical care, remains greatly insufficient where prior to Ebola the Maternal Mortality Rate and infant mortality rate were already among the highest in the world.

OCB is also particularly interested in developing its modus operandi in health facilities located in Viral Haemorrhagic fever prevalent areas, increasing its knowledge on Lassa fever, and improving diagnostic capabilities for unspecified severe fever cases in children.

In addition, by implementing good practices in specific medical areas, MSF Belgium is willing to develop a reference structure for the training of health personnel in the district and even at a broader level (country, region) as well as for the international personnel.


Prior to the Ebola outbreak, OCB who was running a paediatric and obstetric hospital (GRC) in Gondama near Bo and had already planned to close it and transfer its paediatrics services to a newly built hospital in Bo district.

Following the Ebola epidemic, the decision was made to completely review OCB plans. An assessment was initiated in the South East region (Kailahun, Kenema, Bo and Pujehun districts) which leads to the operational choice of investing in paediatric/obstetric secondary care in Kenema. This decision was motivated by three main reasons: the important needs in access of quality mother and child secondary care in the region, the high number of health staff that died during the Ebola outbreak in the area and the OCB willingness to sustain and develop its expertise in paediatrics and Lassa fever management.

After evaluating the feasibility of directly supporting the Kenema Government Hospital, it has been decided to set up an independent MSF structure in order to ensure/control conditions guaranteeing quality secondary care and health security for the medical staff (expatriate, national).

Discussion regarding the hospital project has started with the district and National authorities in August this year and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed late November allowing MSF to engage in the following:

  1. Build/Set up a new paediatric and maternity hospital in Kenema district using high quality, long-lasting pre-fabricated materials. A plot of land was identified and will be made available to MSFB for the construction of the hospital.
  2. Run and Manage the MSF hospital for a period of minimum 10 years.
  3. Facilitate the hospital as quality training centre for MoHS medical and nursing students.
  4. MSFB will avoid “brain-drain” by not hiring current staff of Kenema Government Hospital.

Considering the complexity for implementing a 200 beds pediatric/obstetric hospital, the department of operations decided to set up a dedicated team as part of the Cell 3 for the duration of the project. This team lead by a project coordinator is directly under the CO responsibility. It will be composed of four core members: a project coordinator, a medical referent, a human resources referent and a logistic referent, all based at the HQ level but spending time as much as needed in the field and on site.

The dedicated team will be in charge of the whole process from the project design to the hospital construction and the start of the activities, in addition to regular consultations and negotiations with key stakeholders and authorities. They will work in close collaboration with the cell members and the coordination team at the field level in order to ensure a proper and smooth hand-over of the hospital project to the mission.

This dedicated team will also be the interface between the technical departments (mainly medical, human resources, logistic and punctually more specific departments/expertise) and the operations, guaranteeing that adequate resources are mobilized for the proper implementation of the project in compliance with operational lines.


As one of the core member of the project team, the MEDICAL REFERENT will contribute to the conception (project design), the implementation and the initiation of provision of care of the Kenema Mother and Child Hospital.

Under the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator, he/she will work in close collaboration with all relevant expertise from the medical department in HQ and the cell members with the aim of having activities starting at the KMCHH by beginning of 2018.

Scope of responsibilities

  • Contribute to the definition of the project strategy
  • Contribute to the planning of the overall budget
  • Ensure that all medical aspects of the project have been taken into account
  • Ensure a constructive coordination with support departments in particular the medical departement during the preparation and implementation of the project and its different steps.
  • Participate in writing and coordinating writing of all required documents for the project
  • Contribute to define precisely resources necessary for the functioning of the hospital.
  • Contribute to the chronogram and the activities planning, with a particular attention to medical related aspects

Responsibilities attached to the function

  • Define in close collaboration with the medical department and all departments involved, the design of the medical project as one of the key pillars of the global operational strategy.
  • Participate in working groups (PATIO) leading to define the project strategy, the medical project, the hospital design (masterplan) and all related issues to hospital set up and management.
  • Gather all information needed to propose relevant medical strategy in line with the global objective and strategy and propose relevant action plan (context analysis, resources, etc.)
  • Gather and provide all information needed to support analysis in the technical patios and consecutive further decision-making
  • Contribute with the other core members to the writing of key documents such as: Project Document and concept mapping, CoPro document, Medical Specifications, Masterplan, HR strategy/HR management tools, Service Level Agreement (SLA), Project planning, Budget forcast.
  • Contribute to the overall planning and chronogram of activities for the project implementation, including the trainings and HR development aspects.
  • Establish in close collaboration with the medical department (in particular referents), the full package of protocols, guidelines and data collection mechanism that will be put in place and used
  • Contribute to the order process and planning of medical supply (local and international) for starting activities and provide a support on pharmacy management.
  • Contribute to the writing of the project’s situation report (Project Sitrep).


  • Mandatory : Degree in medicine or other paramedical studies
  • Valuable : Degree in hospital management
  • MSF experience in operations to the level of Project Medical Referent or Medical Coordinator or HQ Medical referent
  • Hospital experience and/or MSF hospital project
  • Experienced in integrated project planning which include of working in close collaboration with different technical expertise (medical/non-medical)
  • Good transversal competencies such as context analysis, cultural awareness, strategic vision, networking and building relationships
  • Good personal skill in working in team
  • Autonomous, proactive, flexible
  • Fluent in speaking/writing English



  • 6 months contract extendable - full-time – based in Brussels with regular visits to the field (Freetown and Kenema) or abroad if needed
  • Hospital Insurance (DKV) – Pension Plan – Canteen - canteen at democratic price - 100% reimbursement for public transport costs
  • Starting date : immediate

Deadline for applications is 15/01/2017 - Interested candidates should send a cover letter and curriculum vitae by e-mail to Beatrice Barbot,

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