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International Efforts > Stop Teams
Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) Teams

Asked Questions
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Questions answered on this page:

  1. What do STOP Teams do?
  2. Who is qualified for STOP Teams?
  3. Are there citizenship requirements?
  4. Do I need to have previous international health work experience?
  5. Can family members accompany STOP Team members?
  6. Is this a paid position? 
  7. Where are STOP Team members sent?
  8. How long is the individual commitment to STOP Team? 
  9. What conditions can one expect to encounter in the field?
  10. When do the Teams depart?
  11. Could there be early or sudden termination of assignment?
  12. Can I go on personal travel during my assignment?
  13. When should I apply?
  14. How do I apply?
  15. Who pays for my medical examination after acceptance?

  1. What do STOP Teams Do?

    In collaboration with local and national counterparts (Ministry of Health/WHO/UNICEF), STOP Team members will likely be:

  • promoting, conducting, and evaluating active surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis
  • planning, monitoring, and evaluating supplemental immunization activities, e.g., national immunization days (NIDs), measles catch-up campaigns
  • promoting, monitoring, and evaluating routine immunization programs
  • supporting integrated disease surveillance
  • supporting measles mortality reduction strategies

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  1. Who is qualified for STOP Teams?

STOP assignments require highly qualified public health professionals. The minimum qualification to be considered for a STOP assignment is at least five years of relevant public health work experience.

Relevant experience for field assignments is defined as having worked (school work/internships not included) in one or more of the following areas of public health: communicable disease surveillance (e.g., acute flaccid paralysis surveillance), field epidemiology (e.g., case outbreak investigations), and immunization programs (e.g., developing, implementing, and monitoring programs). 

Relevant experience for Data Management includes:

  • Computer/database experience
  • Disease surveillance experience
  • Programming experience desirable

Relevant experience for Communications Management includes:

  • Experience in developing and/or implementing public health communications plans
  • Social Mobilization experience

Supervisory approval will be required for all STOP Team members who are currently employed, with the exception of those who are self-employed. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) applicants must have supervisory approval before applying to the program.

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  1. Are there citizenship requirements?

There are no citizenship requirements for STOP Team members.

  1. Do I need to have previous international health work experience?

Previous work and travel experience in developing countries is highly desirable, but not required for this assignment as long as the technical and social qualifications are fulfilled. This work assignment is not ideal as a first international health work experience.

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  1. Can family members accompany STOP Team members?
The nature of the assignment and United Nations (UN) regulations are such that family members are not allowed to accompany STOP Team members. This assignment is considered an unaccompanied position.
  1. Is this a paid position?
This is not a salaried position. CDC arranges (sometimes directly or through partner agencies) travel, lodging, and per diem during the field assignment, as well as the pre-departure orientation in Atlanta.
  1. Where are STOP Team members sent?

Typically, Team members are sent to polio endemic regions in South Asia and Africa.  However, as the distribution of polio cases changes, teams will adapt to meet the needs of local areas. Applicants do not choose the country to which they are sent, but they may indicate a preference which is not guaranteed.

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  1. How long is the individual commitment to the STOP Team?
Teams are in the field for 3 months, in addition to approximately 12 days of orientation held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Most team members will depart directly from Atlanta for field assignments.
  1. What conditions can one expect to encounter in the field?

The work environments are extremely challenging and may include extremes of temperature, lack of electricity, lack of adequate medical facilities, poor sanitation, inconsistent water supply, and rugged traveling conditions. In addition, since STOP is not a training program, the level of supervision and field support may be minimal.

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  1. When do the Teams depart?

    Teams depart 3 times a year, in January, May, and September.

  2. Is there anything that may result in sudden or early termination of the field assignment?

If the political situation in the country the STOP Team member is assigned warrants evacuation of personnel, CDC and WHO/UNICEF will be responsible for arranging for such an evacuation leading to early termination of the assignment.

As an assignee to the WHO or UNICEF, WHO/UNICEF field staff and Ministry of Health counterparts, as well as CDC and Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) staff, reserve the right to end an assignment at any time (before, during orientation, as well as while on assignment) should they feel the STOP team member is having difficulty communicating with others, is being culturally insensitive, is allowing personal issues to get in the way of getting the job done, is not fulfilling his/her duties to the satisfaction of any of the partners, or is jeopardizing the program in any way.

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  1. Can I go on personal travel during my three months assignment?
There is no official break while on a STOP assignment. Leaving your country of assignment during the mission is not permitted unless prior approval is obtained from your CDC supervisor and your in-country supervisor. In many cases, the work is expected to continue 7 days a week throughout the duration of the assignment.
  1. When should I apply?

    Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. STOP applicants are encouraged to apply at least three months in advance of their preferred departure date. Typically, Teams are fully assembled two months before departure.

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  1. How do I apply?

To apply, send your current CV (name should be the same as it appears on your passport), contact information for 3 references, and the team for which you wish to be considered (e.g., January 2005), to:

Note: A medical exam is required at your expense if accepted into the program. For more information, please consult the How to Apply For STOP Teams.

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  1. Who pays for my medical examination (x-ray, etc.) required after the preliminary acceptance?

You are responsible for all required examinations, including a chest x-ray and tuberculin skin test (PPD). However, vaccinations are a reimbursable expense (cost of the vaccine, though not the vaccine administration fee and/or office visit).

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This page last modified on November 20, 2006


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