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Background & Purpose:
Maldives has made significant progress in reducing child and infant mortality in recent decades, achieving a low of under-5 mortality rate of 10 per 1000 live births and an infant mortality rate of 8 per 1000 live birth. Child immunization rates also reached very high coverage in recent decades as a result of the expansion of public health services at the island and community levels, and delivery of primary health care services by local health workers. However, the most recent Demographic Health Survey (2016- 2017) indicated a worrying drop in the previously high immunization rate, dropping from 95% in 2009 to 77% coverage for all essential vaccines in 2016 (DHS 2016-17). The reasons behind this are complex.
Immunization is a supply driven programme. Vaccine logistics including stock management, cold chain quality assurance, and coordination between central, regional, and local levels to ensure safe and appropriate vaccine management are central elements of any immunization programme.
The national Immunization systems can be further strengthened to fully align with the latest global and regional requirements and standards for safe and effective vaccine management and supply chains. Preliminary findings of recent assessment reveal the need to strengthen effective vaccine management, particularly the cold chain and supply aspects.
This assignment aims to provide technical support the Health Protection Agency (HPA) within the Ministry of Health to strengthen the national Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI), in particularly to ensure that the supply side of vaccine management is effectively planned, implemented, and monitored so that Maldives meets international safety and efficiency standards in their national immunization programme.
The consultant will work under direct supervision of the HPA and sit within the EPI team, contributing towards the following deliverables:Based on the 2019 EVM assessment findings, develop an action plan to implement the key recommendations highlighted in the final report in a timely and appropriate manner and in line with international EVM standards; Develop contextualized trainings for island/Atoll/central level health workers to build the capacity of key health professionals in effective vaccine supply management; Develop relevant SOPs and easy-to-use (digitalized) monitoring and evaluation systems that allow HPA and the Minister of health to receive timely and accurate information on the national vaccine management system as required; Work with the relevant stakeholders from HPA, MoH, UN, civil society, and private sector to establish effective coordination mechanisms for regular discussion and analysis of the immunization programme including early warning mechanisms. Support the MoH/HPA in developing a practical field monitoring plan to ensure improved monitoring and maintenance of the national immunization programme. The plan should include costing implications.
Duty station: Maldives Health Protection Agency with travel to selected islands for consultations on a needs-basis.
Supervision and Guidance: The consultant will be supervised by Director of HPA. The UNICEF Maldives Programme Specialist for Health & Nutrition will provide support and co-supervision.
Major tasks of the Assignment:
In line with the objectives identified above, below are the specific deliverables and tasks the consultant is expected to complete within the assignment period:Adapt and implement Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) practices and support improvement of cold chain systems for vaccines at all levels. Ensure EVM assessment recommendations are implemented and monitor their implementation Prepare annual vaccine and consumables distribution plan and conduct cold-chain equipment procurement and maintenance plan. Support the annual vaccine forecasting exercise Assist to implement appropriate vaccine stock management systems for tracking vaccines and monitoring wastage Prepare annual vaccine and consumables distribution plan, and a vaccine delivery monitoring matrix. Use the matrix for monitoring and tracking of vaccines Provide consolidated immunization data regularly, including stock management & utilization of vaccine with wastage data for programme planning and management Maintain inventory of vaccines and consumables at central store. Assist in preparing, updating regularly and maintaining cold chain inventory and help to maintain standard list of vaccine cold chain equipment Support the vaccine procurement process and facilitated timely clearance and documentation Assist in vaccine logistics and dispatching of vaccines to Atolls and facilities Periodically monitor temperature of the equipment, oversee the vaccine distribution and cold chain Plan & assist in conducting periodic assessment of cold chain and vaccine management practices, and support immunization focal points Facilitate regular maintenance of the cold chain equipment and ensure that all functional EPI centers are equipped with necessary cold chain equipment
Estimated duration of contract and deadline for submission of end-product: 7 months initially in 2020, starting from March 2020 (with possibility of extension up to 12 months)
Travel: Travel to islands for monitoring on a needs-basis
1. Inception report (#1) with:An approved workplan for the duration of the consultancy Analysis of current supply and stocks including list of vaccines, cold chain equipment and vaccines in-country.
2. Monthly Progress report (from 2nd months to 6th month), with: Update of activities and sample of all products developed
3. Final report (#7):Final documents Final report
UNICEF will only make milestone payments based on achievement of specific deliverables as listed. All payments will be subjected to acceptance of deliverable by UNICEF. Also note that UNICEF does not make advance payment and UNICEF is exempted from paying VAT and any other forms of taxes. Locals will be paid in local currency. UNICEF would cover any arising travel costs as per agreed schedules with the MoH/HPA
Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience requiredUniversity degree in, biomedical engineering, health, supply management or relevant field. A diploma in related area with relevant experience can be considered in lieu of the degree Training in vaccine supply chain maintenance will be an advantage Ability to work with excel and other relevant software and programmes Past experience in supply chain or cold chain equipment. Work experience in the health sector or similar field will be an asset Demonstrated good communication skills in Dhivehi and English (written and verbal) Proven expertise in supply management, particularly vaccine stock management systems in the health sector will be considered an asset. Ability to organize, plan and coordinate activities within an agreed timeframe Proven ability to work in teams and independent working
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UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Deadline for Application: 09th March 2020, 13:00 pm (Maldives Time)
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Consultants and Individual contractors are responsible for paying any taxes derived from the earnings received from UNICEF.