Position Available: Prevention Director
Institution: Lao Friends Hospital for Children**
Location: Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
Date posted: May 2021
Starting Date: Q4 2021
Period: 12+ months
Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) is an acute pediatric teaching hospital situated in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. It is operated by the New York based non-profit organization Friends Without A Border that is dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate healthcare to the children in remote areas of Southeast Asia. In 2015 the hospital was opened on the same campus as the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital and it has been developing its services since then. Average daily census now exceeds 40 patients in the inpatient wards and over 120 outpatients per day.
LFHC is a teaching hospital offering emergency, inpatient, outpatient, and surgical services to babies and children throughout Northern Lao. Limited on-site radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, and child development services, together with an outreach program complement these clinical activities. A major goal of this hospital is to promote the clinical learning and professional development of the local staff such that key positions within the hospital are progressively filled by a well-trained and dedicated local workforce. The hospital is situated in the beautiful UNESCO heritage city of Luang Prabang situated in a mountainous region of the country on the banks of the Mekong River, with easy access to shops, restaurants and other amenities.
Since opening in 2015, LFHC has had provided care to over 100,000 children. Our focus has been largely on curative care and not prevention. Our data indicate that approximately 35-40% of our care is devoted to children with preventable conditions such as nutritional disorders and motor vehicle and other accidents (burns, falls, lacerations). Over 40% of our children have a weight for age that is below normal. On the determinants of malnutrition, the World Bank states:
· The causes of undernutrition in Lao PDR are multi-sectoral ranging from factors that are determined before the child is born (mother’s stature, education, health, diet and age during pregnancy) to factors affecting the child after birth (sub-optimal infant and young child feeding, poor hygiene and sanitary environment).
· While food insecurity is widely assumed to be a major determinant of stunting in Lao PDR, World Bank analyses show that access to food is less of a concern, but rather the lack of dietary diversity (which is largely due to poor child feeding practices) is the main source of inadequate nutrient intake in children.
· Poor knowledge about nutrition among health workers in rural areas is demonstrated in practice. 67% of health center staff have not received appropriate training on nutrition, and they tend not to recognize stunted children or offer appropriate recommendations about nutrition and growth promotion.
· A combination of demand-side and supply-side interventions are needed. On the demand-side, scaling up of social and behavior change communication directed at mothers, child caregivers, as well as influential family members (grandmothers, husbands), focusing on appropriate infant and young child feeding practices, improving sanitation and hygiene practices, and prevention of teenage pregnancy is needed.
The LFHC Prevention Director (PD) will lead our efforts to define the strategies, develop and implement projects and conduct monitoring and evaluation of activities that reduce the burden of preventable diseases and conditions on the children of the province.
The PD will be part of the LFHC Executive Team and will work with its members to identify key public health interventions. The PD will closely coordinate all community initiatives with the Outreach Director.
The PD will develop a close working relationship with the Provincial Health Department (PHD) to ensure all activities are supported and approved by the Government of Laos. This will include identifying and supporting the PHD public health priorities as identified by the national health (RMNCAH, Nutrition) strategies.
The PD will liaise with other organizations operating locally to ensure coordination of effort.
The PD will seek and develop funding opportunities that allow for the expansion of activities.
Qualifications and Attributes
· Master’s degree in Public Health or equivalent degree with a minimum of two years professional experience in a low resource setting or a bachelor’s degree with four years of experience implementing public health programs in low resource settings.
· Demonstrated ability to work in a cross-cultural setting
· Experienced in utilizing social and behavioral change communication (SBCC) strategies in program implementation
· Strong oral and written English language ability
· Skill in developing and submitting program proposals
· Ability to work with minimum supervision
· Strong interpersonal and communication skills
· Lao language ability
· Work experience in the Lao PDR and knowledge of the Laotian public health sector
· Ability to make a minimum of a two-year commitment
Salary and Benefits
This is a funded role with health benefits, housing allowance, travel to and from point of hire and four weeks of annual leave.
How to apply
Please email a cover letter, CV, and three references from past employers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Prevention Director”. **
Visit www.fwab.org/laos for further information.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviewing.