Author Topic: Maternal New-born and Child Health Consultant Job at UNICEF Nigeria  (Read 327 times)


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Job Title: Maternal New-born and Child Health (MNCH) Consultant

Employer: United Nations Children’s Fund / UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Vacancy number: VN-NGR-30-2013

Contract Type: SSA

Duration: 11 Months

Location: Adamawa and Kebbi  


The maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world with an estimated 545 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births (NDHS 2008). Nigeria contributes about 10% of global burden of maternal deaths. The main causes of high maternalmorbidity and mortality among women include anaemia in pregnancy due to malaria, intra-partum and post-partum hemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labour, and  hypertensive conditions in pregnancy.  

The morbidity and mortality among children in Nigeria is also very high. The under-five mortality rate staggers at 158 per 1,000 live births and the infant mortality (IMR) at 97 per 1,000 live births (MICS, 2011), but still higher than many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with similar GDP. Pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhoea continue to take lives of many children in Nigeria. Under nutrition and malnutrition are major causes of childhood morbidity, It is estimated that 24% of children under five (U5) years of age are underweight and 36% of children are estimated to be stunted (MICS 2011).

Health indices are particular very poor in the northern part of Nigeria. Maternal and infant mortality rates are 3-4 times the national average. In Adamawa State, 15% of adult women were underweight/thin while 11.6% were overweight/obese while in Kebbi 16.6% were underweight/thin and 23.8% overweight/obese. Both conditions are associated with negative nutritional outcomes in childhood. Low birth weight, among other causes, is indicative of the poor nutritional status of the mother. The poor health indices in Nigeria may be attributable to four main problems identified with Nigeria’s health system which include:

i) Governance and stewardship: Autonomy of the 3 tiers of government (Federal, State, and Local Government Administration (LGAs) has led to duplication of efforts, weak governance and lack of accountability;

ii) Human and Financial Resources: Inappropriate allocation of human and financial resources with greater support to tertiary and specialized care, instead of primary health care;

iii) Coverage: Low coverage of core maternal, newborn and child health interventions, and

iv) Limited access to health services due to financial and socio-cultural barriers.

Federal Ministry of Health, National Planning Commission, European Union and UNICEF launched the new EU-MNCH project which seeks to contribute to addressing the sub-optimal status of health for women and children in Adamawa and Kebbi States characterized by high maternal and childhood deaths.

The goal of the project is to assist the Government of Kebbi and Adamawa in line with their State Strategic Health Development Plans (SSHDP) to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths by significantly improving the health and nutrition status of women and children under 5 years by ensuring an equitable and strengthened primary health care delivery system


This position is to support the State ministry of health, state primary health care development agency and other partners in the implementation of evidence-based interventions that will result in the scale-up of and improved access to maternal and newborn health services with a particular focus on systems strengthening, local capacity building, focused mentoring in local facilities and communities in Adamawa and Kebbi States.

The officer will support the SMOH, SPHCDA and other partners in the implementation of various strategies and interventions that will strengthen partnership for policy reforms, sector governance and stewardship at LGA level, increased transparency and accountability, capacity building, provision of sustainable and scaled-up integrated MNCH service delivery with equity and community participation.

Specific objectives:

The consultant is to work with the SPHCDA, SMOH and other partners to achieve the following key results:

• Increased proportion of women who are able to correctly recognize pregnancy complications and seek timely care, when required.

• Increased proportion of poor, marginalized, rural women with increased financial access to a health facility for pre –pregnancy, routine ANC and Emergency Newborn and Obstetric Care services;

• Improved functionality of the health service provision for fixed and outreach services through adequate and qualified health personnel, adequate supplies and equipment.

• Improved nutrition of women and children along the continuum of care from preconception to childhood.

• Strengthened health systems governance by improving decentralized planning and budgeting processes for improved accountability and transparency in the delivery of maternal and newborn services.

Major Tasks to be accomplished:

State and LGA

• Work with the SMOH, SPHCDA and other partners to support dissemination of national policy, strategy, guidelines and quality of care model for MNCH at state and LGA level.

• Support SMOH and SPHCDA by providing technical assistance to the development of good quality state and LGA annual operational plans and their review using the Primary Health Care Mechanism.

• Support dissemination and use of approved training modules and guidelines on selected high impact Integrated Maternal New-born Child Healthcontinuum of care interventions such as- Focused AnteNatal Care (FANC); Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA); Emergency Obstetric and New-born Care (EmONC); Helping Babies Breath (HBB); Post Natal Care (PNC); Community Based New-born Care and Integrated Community Case Management (Iccm) for diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia.

Support state and LGA level supportive supervision, monitoring and evaluation of MNCH programmes.

Health Facilities:

Priority areas of work to be supported at this level and strategy based on TSS model (Training, Supplies, Supportive Supervision) include but not limited to the following:

• Setting up and implement a quality of care model for MNCH services in health facilities based on few selected high impact interventions.

• Training of health workers using approved training modules and guidelines on selected high impact Integrated Maternal New-born Child Health continuum of care interventions with assistance of state and LGA based TOTs.

• Support end user monitoring of equipment and supplies provided tohealth facilities.

• Participate in On the Job Training, Supportive Supervision and mentoring of health workers.

Communities, villages, households

• Support setting up of structures for implementation of Community Health Strategy – WDCs, VDCs, training of VHWs, CHEWs and CHWs.

• End user monitoring of supplies and demand for MNCH services in communities and households.

• Use updated Mama/CHEW/CBNC kits as entry point for promotion of desired health seeking behaviour and link with immunization/polio related activities.

• Promote uptake of selected high impact family care practices jointly with other sections namely -C4D, Nutrition, Child Protection, Media, advocacy and communications and WASH.

• Promote uptake of integrated Community Case Management for diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria.

End Product: (eg. final report, article, document etc):

• Annual State work and operational plans

• Quarterly DHIS and PHC review reports

• Reports of Workshop/Meetings with actionable recommendations.

• Reports of milestones achieved to advance project implementation.

Estimated time of consultancy and deadline for submission of end product:

11 Months term is required for this assignment in line with the current UNICEF Nigeria country development Minimum qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required

• Master’s in Public Health and university degree in Medicine or Nursing/Midwifery or related technical field.

• Five years progressively responsible experience in designing, implementing and evaluating of health projects particularly, safe motherhood and neonatal care projects.

Experience with Life Saving Skills training and practice an advantage.

• Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN working language an asset. Knowledge of local working language of the duty station, an asset.

Knowledge of the latest developments and technology in related fields.

• Ability to make timely and quality judgments and decisions and very good training skills.

• Computer skills, including internet navigation and various office applications.

• Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization.

• Commitment to continuous learning for professional development.

• Initiative, passion and commitment to UNICEF’s mission and professional values.

How to Apply:

If you are interested in the position and meet the requirements, please apply online or send cover letter (one-page summary statement that describes how your experience and qualification relate to the job description) and a scanned/PDF copy of the completed and signed UN Personal History Form (which can be downloaded here to

Deadline: 5th December, 2013

Please mention the position title you are applying for on the subject line of your email.

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