Job Number: 527698
Work Type: Consultancy
The maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world with an estimated 576 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 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 particularly very poor in the northern part of Nigeria. Maternal and infant mortality rates are 3-4 times the national average. In Kebbi State, for example, 16.6% of adult women 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, Bauchi 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 State.
- 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 State.
- 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.
Programme ID & Specific Project Involved:
- The goal is to significantly contribute to the reduction of maternal, new-born and child mortality and morbidity in Adamawa State in Nigeria, towards the achievement of SDGs as well to establish an integrated primary health care model which can be easily scaled up.
- The overall objective is to improve the nutrition and health status of women and children through a sustainable primary health care delivery system and improved community resilience.
- Under the supervision of the Communication for Development Specialist (NOC) and coordination of the State EU Programme Coordinator, work with State EU project team to guide implementation and monitoring of C4D interventions, in line with the workplan and results framework
- Facilitate partnership at LGA and community levels (working with all institutions and structures) on effective implementation of the EU-MNCH programme
- Participate in, facilitate and provide reports on implementation of interpersonal communication, community dialogue sessions and engagement with various participant groups under the EU Project
- Lead processes of advocacy to key influential persons in Adamawa State (especially Traditional and Religious Leaders and Heads of Ward Development Committees) for support to EU-MNCH programme, especially promotion of MNCH behaviours
- Support capacity development activities on C4D for Community-Oriented Resource Persons (CORPs), Voluntary Community Mobilizers (VCMs), Ward Development Committees (WDCs), Faith-based groups, women and youth groups for effective promotion of MNCH behaviours at community level
- Document processes, key outputs, constraints and lessons learnt in the various platforms of C4D programming
- Supervise community activities that promote health seeking behaviour among caregivers in Adamawa State, in line with the EU project, including social events, festivals and commemorative events
- Participate in and provide short Reports on the activities of the state Social Mobilisation Technical Committees (SOMTECs)
- Support extensive documentation of all activities under the EU Project, including development and publication of 8 Human Interest Stories per year and a Quarterly EU Programme Newsletter and frequent Social Media outputs
- Produce quarterly Newsletters to give visibility to the programme and donors.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- University Degree in Social Sciences, Communication, Humanities, Public Health or related technical field.
- Five years’ experience working on Programme Communication/Communication for Development
- 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.
For every Child, you demonstrate:
- UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The competencies required for this post are: