Special Service Agreement (SSA) holder for Laboratory

Call for Expressions of Interest and Proposal

VN#044 - Job Title: Special Service Agreement (SSA) holder for Laboratory

1. Background:

The WHO Viet Nam Country Office has been providing support to strengthen the capacity of the General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM), Ministry of Health (MoH) for national emergency preparedness for and response to COVID-19 outbreak in Viet Nam. Between September 2020 and May 2022, project personnel have been recruited to provide technical assistance to GDPM in the areas of Surveillance including Sentinel surveillance, Risk assessment (RA) & Emergency Operations Center (EOC); Communication and public health activities; International Health Regulations (IHR) and Point of Entry (PoE); and Laboratory (LAB). During this period, the engaged project personnel had worked very closely with GDPM staff at the respective departments where they were attached to and contributed significantly to all the work related to COVID-19 surveillance, preparedness and response among other activities under the GDPM-WHO collaborative 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 workplans.

Since early 2022, Viet Nam has been making a transition from pandemic response toward sustained management of COVID-19. Accordingly, GDPM needs to continue working on the above-mentioned areas for sustaining management of COVID-19 while ensuring its capacity to respond to ongoing public health emergencies such as monkeypox, severe acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology, and other disease outbreak in country including dengue, hand-foot-mouth disease, seasonal influenza, adenovirus and possibly other potential outbreaks. Meanwhile, as the MOH-WHO collaborative workplan for 2022-2023 was recently approved, there is a need of an extra support for GDPM to fulfil the activities committed in the workplan.

To maintain the human resource that is acutely required in the current context, the WHO Viet Nam country office is supporting GDPM to recruit the involved positions, among which is the SSA holder for Laboratory.

Term of reference

The SSA holder for laboratory will work under the direct supervision of the leader of Department of Immunization Management and Biosafety, GDPM, Ministry of Health, and in a close collaboration with the WHO Viet Nam country office to support the following activities:

  • To develop the tool set for evaluating COVID-19 laboratories
  • To collect the information related to testing capacity of COVID-19 laboratories
  • To develop the guidelines for Laboratory Biosafety
  • To develop the technical guidelines and training materials on biosafety in laboratories
  • To prepare routine reports on COVID-19, monkeypox laboratory activities in Viet Nam including that of the ongoing biweekly joint GDPM-WHO Situation Report, and others
  • To develop legal documents, regulations, guidelines on biosecurity and management of laboratory testing
  • To assist in laboratory-related activities to respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, including the development of testing strategies in new situations, guidelines, logistic support and other response strengthening activities,
  • To support strengthening of laboratory quality and management systems at Institutes of Pasteur/ Hygiene and Epidemiology and other laboratories in the network
  • To attend bi-weekly briefings and ad hoc meetings as required with WHO Viet Nam to provide updates on the work progress and to discuss issues that need to be addressed, and
  • To carry out other duties as requested by supervisors.
Expected outcome(s)
  • Enhanced GDPM’s preparedness and response capacity for COVID-19, outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health emergencies with the following details:
  • A tool set for evaluating the COVID-19 laboratories is developed
  • Periodic reports on laboratory-related data and activities pertaining to COVID-19, monkeypox and other infectious diseases are prepared
  • Testing strategies and guidelines continued to be revised, updated and developed.
  • Legal documents and regulations on biosafety and biosecurity on laboratory management systems continue to be developed, reviewed and updated.
  • Other technical guidelines and training materials for laboratory biosafety are developed.
  • The WHO new Laboratory Biosafety Manual 4th edition is disseminated and trained, with support from by WHO Viet Nam Country Office.
  • Further strengthening of laboratory quality and management systems at Regional Institutes of Pasteur/ Hygiene and Epidemiology and other laboratories in the network is supported.
  • Monthly working progress reports to GDPM and WHO

2. Planned timeline: 1 November 2022 – 30 July 2023

3. Specific requirements

Educational Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Public Health or Doctor on Preventive Medicine, or
  • Bachelor of Science, specialized in laboratory and/or biology
  • Holding a Master qualification in laboratory science would be of advantage


  • At least three to five years of full-time working experience in laboratory science or public health.
  • Prior experience working with Ministry of Health or its Institutions in laboratory areas is of advantage.

4. Skills / Technical skills and knowledge:


  • Laboratory testing, biosafety, biosecurity management, particularly for infectious diseases
  • Communication and report writing skills
  • Planning, monitoring and evaluation
  • Coordination and negotiation skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills

Languages and level required

  • Good English for reading, writing and speaking

5. Place of assignment Off-site: Hanoi

The SSA holder will be based at the GDPM office, MOH in Ha Noi

6. Medical clearance

The selected consultant will be expected to provide a medical certificate of fitness for work.

7. Travel: No travel is required.

8. Budget: Starting from USD 1,058/ month to be converted into VND at UN exchange rate at the contract issuance time (travel costs excluded)

Please take note of the following when submitting application:

  • The contractor will be responsible for paying taxes, if any.
  • Those who are interested can contact our focal person before/by 26 October 2022
  • Administrative Officer, World Health Organization, wpvnmapplicants@who.int
  • Subject: Application for VN#44 (Special Service Agreement (SSA) holder for Laboratory
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