Public Health Consultant, Prishtina, Kosovo 1244, Health sector, 10 months
Application deadline 4 months ago: Friday 16 Sep 2022 at 20:55 UTCOpen application form
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Title: Public Health Consultant Type of engagement: National Consultant Location: Prishtina, Kosovo Duration: 10 months
Purpose of Activity/Assignment:
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruptions caused the largest global decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years, according to data published by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – a marker for basic immunization coverage – fell five percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 per cent. As a result, 25 million children worldwide missed out on one or more doses of DTP through the routine immunization services in 2021 alone.
The administrative data reported by the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) for 2020 and 2021 indicate a similar trend in Kosovo. The basic immunization coverage fell from 97 per cent in 2019, to 92 per cent in 2020 and to 87 per cent in 2021 – a significant 10 percentage points drop within two only years. The challenges with immunization coverage were present in Kosovo even before the pandemic, as shown by the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019-2020, indicating that one in four children aged 24-35 months of age in Kosovo (27%) missed one or more vaccines from the routine immunization calendar. Whereas for children from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, the situation was even more concerning, with only one in three (38%) children of this age being fully vaccinated.
UNICEF is currently supporting the NIPH and the Ministry of Health on developing the Action Plan for immunization 2022-2025, which aims to reverse the impact of COVID-19 on routine immunization and increase the COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Prior to this, UNICEF in collaboration with the NIPH and Primary Health Care institutions have initiated a door-to-door campaign to households to promote routine immunization and identify children who have missed their vaccinations. In addition, UNICEF continues to work with NIPH and local health authorities for raising awareness of parents on the importance of regular vaccination through in-person information sessions as well as media campaigns. On the supply side, UNICEF is supporting institutions with the replacement of the vaccine cold chain equipment (CCE) in all levels of supply chain, from central storage at NIPH to Main Family Medicine Centres (MFMC) and Family Medicine Centres (FMC). To strengthen the data collection and reporting, in 2022 UNICEF supported the digitalization of the routine immunization process, including vaccination cards.
With regards to the COVID-19 vaccination, UNICEF is continuing to work closely with the health authorities and other partners to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, strengthen the health system for vaccine delivery and increase the accessibility of vaccines. UNICEF’s support to COVID-19 vaccination includes delivery of equipment vital for the vaccination process, supporting expansion of vaccination sites, evidence generation and activities related to demand generation and community engagement for promotion of COVID-19 vaccination.
The purpose of this consultancy is to strengthen the capacities of the department of immunization at NIPH for implementation of the Action Plan for immunization 2022-2025, as well as support, coordinate and monitor the activities organized by the NIPH and UNICEF related to routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination.
Scope of Work:
Under the overall supervision of the Health Officer, the Public Health consultant will support the immunization department and Expanded Immunization Programme (EPI) manager at NIPH with the development of the Action Plan for immunization and the implementation of activities foreseen in the Plan, as well as other activities related to routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination. This engagement, which will be placed at NIPH, has the following expected outputs:
- Provide support, technical expertise and guidance to the NIPH and the Ministry of Health for developing of the Action Plan for immunization;
- Support the development and coordinate the implementation of activities as per the Action Plan for immunization;
- Support the development and coordination of activities to enhance the general awareness on the importance of routine immunization;
- Support NIPH and UNICEF for organization and scaling up of catch-up immunization campaign for reaching unvaccinated children, with focus on vulnerable and marginalized communities.
- Coordinate the trainings of Primary Health Care workers on utilization of the digitalized vaccine registration system, remote temperature monitoring system, and trainings on interpersonal communication for immunization.
- Provide guidance and technical assistance for development of municipal micro-plans for seven selected municipalities for routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination.
**Work Assignment Overview
Tasks/Milestone:** Provide support, technical expertise and guidance to the NIPH and the Ministry of Health for the development of the Action Plan for immunization Deliverables/Outputs: Action plan developed Timeline: September-October 2022 Tasks/Milestone: Support and coordinate the development and implementation of activities as per the Action Plan for immunization Deliverables/Outputs: Reports on implementation status Timeline: September 2022 – July 2023 Tasks/Milestone: Support the development and coordination of activities to enhance general awareness on the importance of routine immunization Deliverables/Outputs: Awareness raising activities organized Timeline: September 2022 – July 2023
Tasks/Milestone: Support NIPH and UNICEF for organization and scaling up of catch-up immunization campaign for reaching unvaccinated children, with focus on vulnerable and marginalized communities. Deliverables/Outputs: Catch-up immunization organized and scaled-up. Timeline: September 2022 – July 2023
Tasks/Milestone: Coordinate the trainings of Primary Health Care workers on utilization of the digitalized vaccine registration system, remote temperature monitoring system, and trainings on interpersonal communication for immunization. Deliverables/Outputs: Capacity building trainings for PHC health workers organized. Timeline: September 2022 – July 2023
Tasks/Milestone: Provide technical assistance and coordinated the workshops for development of micro-plans for routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination Deliverables/Outputs: Micro-plans developed for seven selected municipalities Timeline: March-June 2023
Minimum Qualifications required: Bachelor in Public health, medicine (medical degree), nursing, healthcare administration, health science, global health, or other relevant disciplines.
Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required: • University degree, preferably with master’s degree in public health, medicine (medical degree), nursing, healthcare administration, health science, global health, or other relevant discipline; • At least 2 years of experience in project management in the areas of public health or health management, including implementation and monitoring, or similar; • Familiar with the national immunization programme, logistics and cold chain system are consider beneficial; • Proven analytical and report writing skills (Albanian and English); • Ability to write concisely, clearly, and under time pressure; • Strong facilitation, negotiation and coordination skills. • Fluency in oral and written Albanian and English is essential. Communications knowledge in Serbian is an advantage.
Competencies required: Information processing, teamwork, planning/organizing, decision making/problem solving, verbal and written communication
Core Values: Commitment, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity
Core Competencies: Communication, Working with People, Drive for Results
Functional Competencies: Formulating Strategies and Concepts, Analysing, Applying Technical Expertise, Learning and Researching, Planning and Organizing