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  • Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Consultant at UNICEF

  • Posted on: 14 November, 2018 Deadline: 28 November, 2018
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  • UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

    Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Consultant


    Job Number: 517888
    Locations: Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi
    Work Type : Consultancy
    Duration of the contract: 11.5 months

    The maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world with an estimated 574 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births (NDHS 2013). Nigeria contributes about 10% of global burden of maternal deaths. The main causes of high maternal morbidity 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 39 per 1,000 live births (MICS, 2016), 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 2016).

    Health indices are particularly 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:

    • 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;
    • Human and Financial Resources: Inappropriate allocation of human and financial resources with greater support to tertiary and specialized care, instead of primary health care;
    • Coverage: Low coverage of core maternal, newborn and child health interventions, and
    • Limited access to health services due to financial and socio-cultural barriers.

    Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, 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 Governments of Bauchi, 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. In order to support human resources and deliver appropriately, UNICEF intends to recruit consultants that will manage programme implementation in Adamawa, Kebbi and Kebbi States.


    • 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, Kebbi and Bauchi States.

    Major Tasks to be accomplished: (estimated time required to complete tasks. Attach additional sheets, if necessary, to describe assignments)
    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 Health continuum 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 diarrhoea, 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:
      • Set up and implement a quality of care model for MNCH services in health facilities based on few selected high impact interventions.
      • Train 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 to health 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.

    Qualifications of Successful Candidate

    • Advanced degree in Health, Social Sciences, or Public Health and university degree or related technical field.

    Years of relevant experience:

    • Five years' experience working on child survival issues or health projects.

    Competencies of Successful Candidate:

    • 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.
    • Willingness to travel to remote regions of the country.

    Method of Application

    Use the link(s) below to apply on company website.


    • Applicants should quote an all inclusive fee
    • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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