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For every child, an idea
West and Central Africa (WCA) is home to about 6 percent of the world's population and bears the second highest burden of the global HIV epidemic, with one-third of the new infections in children and adolescents globally occurring in WCA. More than four decades into the HIV epidemic, three out of four of the 500,000 children aged 0-14 living with HIV in WCA are still not receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) because the majority have not yet been tested for HIV. In WCA, only 2 out of 10 children in need of HIV testing received it within the first 2 months of life. The region’s coverage of ART among children living with HIV (26%) is the second lowest in the world. Without antiretroviral treatment, up to 50 percent of HIV-infected children will die by their second birthday, with peak mortality at 3 to 4 months of age.
At the mid-point of implementation of the Dakar Call-to-Action, the coverage rate of antiretrovirals in pregnant and lactating women has stagnated at around 48 percent, while the coverage rate for antiretroviral therapy in children has increased by 40 percent in three years and that of early HIV testing in children has increased by 61 percent. This progress remains insufficient in relation to the 2020 targets.
There is hope given that 26 countries renewed their commitment to the Dakar Call-to-Action at the High-Level Meeting held in January 2019. Critical actions to be undertaken as part of this renewed commitment are:
- Support of the national roll-out of Family HIV Testing;
- Use of modern HIV testing techniques, such as the combined HIV-Syphilis test in the minimum prenatal consultation package and Point of Care (PoC) technologies;
- The adoption and scaling up of task-shifting in support of the decentralization of HIV services and their effective integration into maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health programs and services; and,
- Support of the roll out of combination strategies for retention of mother-baby pairs in care
The POC project is in the inception phase and the Laboratory assessment to support the integration of POC technologies in national systems for early infant diagnosis and viral load monitoring will be conducted in Cohort 1 countries (Mali, Chad, Ghana and Nigeria) in July. On the other side, four country offices are ready to implement the roll out of HIV family testing (CAR, Ghana, Cameroon and Burkina Faso) and three of them (CAR, Ghana and Cameroon) have already experience on family testing at small scale.
How can you make a difference?
- Support data collection, analysis, and knowledge sharing on the National Roll-Out of Family HIV Testing in 4 countries: CAR, Ghana, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso.
- Establish and maintain an electronic filing system to support the knowledge management on the HIV point-of-care (POC) WCA project in cohort 1 countries (Mali, Chad, Ghana, and Nigeria) and the National Roll-Out of HIV Family Testing in 4 countries: CAR, Ghana, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.
- Support in the content development and maintenance of the WCARO HIV Share Point site.
Scope of work
The intern will provide direct programmatic and administrative support to the HIV section in information & data collection, analysis, and knowledge sharing for the two specific initiatives (Family testing and Point of Care):
- In coordination with the HIV team especially, the POC focal point and the HIV Specialist community systems, set up an electronic filing of all key documents on POC and Family testing per country.
- In collaboration with the health officer in charge of data, initiate a dashboard with key performance indicators to monitor the national roll-out of family testing in selected countries.
- Liaise with HIV focal points in Ghana, CAR, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso and UNICEF consultants to collect Family Testing data and regularly populate and update the family testing dashboard.
- Develop, maintain, and circulate the WCARO HIV Sharepoint site that will serve as a repository of key HIV events and announcements, strategy documents, databases, dashboards, among others.
- Share Family testing data from the dashboard (tables, line charts, bar charts, etc.) on the SharePoint, websites and other platforms.
- Support the HIV section in reviewing, synthesizing and the lessons learned and best practices, on POC and Family testing and disseminate them through webinar series and through other platforms.
- Assist in the preparation of regional meetings and events related to HIV.
- Take part in the office working Group discussions and meetings as needed.
Benefits to intern:**
- This internship will complement current academic training, field service experience and further provide exposure to the global EMTCT, Paediatric and Adolescent HIV and integration of services within MNCH agenda and priorities and increase their technical knowledge of EMTCT, Paediatric and Adolescent HIV and integration of services within MNCAH.
- The intern will expand existing skills in technical writing, organizational and communication experience, gain hands-on experience organizing meetings, webinars and events for EMTCT, Paediatric and Adolescent HIV and integration of services within MNCAH partners and apply research skills to identify pertinent and timely content for websites, literature reviews and tool development.
- This internship will provide the chance to test out potential career choices in the area of data and knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation, and international public health, by gaining real-life experience doing the work of an employee in a culturally diverse organization.
Deliverables and Schedules:
- A dashboard to monitor progress on family testing (regularly updated)
Within the two first weeks of the internship
- 2-page report on POC and family testing (highlights in selected countries)
Each of the 3 months internship period
- Two webinars organized : one on the progress on the family testing and another on how to navigate the dashboard
The 2nd and 3rd month of the internship
- At least 2 case studies and 4 human interest stories on family testing to be circulated via e-mail and uploaded on the Sharepoint
The 2nd and 3rd month of the internship
- An electronic filing system (per targeted country) on POC and Family testing
Since the 2nd month of the internship
- Fully functional HIV Sharepoint site with updated website content and latest files
2nd and 3rd month of the internship
Timing and Duration:
Three months (the duration of an internship is normally between 6 and 26 weeks). The internship can be extended; however, the total duration of the internship should not exceed 26 weeks).
The intern will prepare the following reports:
- A progress and a final report on the overall tasks conducted during the internship (at midterm and at the end of the internship)
- A monthly report (2 pages on the highlights on the two initiatives in targeted countries)
- Minutes of meetings and other reports as required by the supervisor
- The intern will work under the supervision of the HIV WCAR HIV regional advisor. He/she will keep close collaboration with the health officer in charge of data and the POC and family testing staff in the HIV section for orientation and guidance.
- The internship will be based in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Office located in Dakar, Senegal.
- He will work on a full-time basis and will be provided with on office space.
- The internship is paid.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Be enrolled in a university at the master’s level, preferably in Public Health, Public Policy, or Management,
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- Strong writing and organizational skills
- Analytical skills and ability to synthesize data into concise reports
- Effectively presents data and information to diverse audiences and listens well to instructions and feedback.
- Ability to quickly understand instructions, ask for clarification when needed, adapt and work independently to produce results on time.
- Able to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships.
- Attention to detail, good prioritization skills.
- Proficiency in MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point) and internet navigation required, and a website content management system is preferred.
- Fluency in English and French required. Knowledge of one other UN working language an advantage
- Have no immediate relatives (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister) working in any UNICEF office; and
- Have no other relatives in the line of authority which the intern will report to.
NB: Approved for an Internnational of Senegal or based in Senegal.
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….
View our competency framework at
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.