United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Consultant – National Micronutrient Deficiency Control (MNDC) Guideline Review
Job Number: 533822
Work Type: Consultancy
Contract Duration: 2 months
Micronutrients are vital vitamins and minerals required by human beings to stimulate cellular growth and metabolism. Micronutrient deficiencies (MNDs) greatly contributes to poor growth and development, reduced cognitive function, impaired immune and endocrine functions, increased risk of morbidity and mortality. There are nineteen micronutrients considered essential for optimal physiological functions; five of these micronutrients (Vitamin A, Iron, folate, Iodine, Zinc) are of public health importance. Specifically, Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, it also causes impaired immune function, cell differentiation, measles and diarrhoeal diseases among children. Iron deficiency causes microcytic anaemia, impaired immune and endocrine functions. Folate deficiency in pregnant women causes neural tube defect and macrocytic anaemia. Iodine deficiency disorder causes goitre, mental retardation. Zinc deficiency causes increased incidence of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection; both are among the leading cause of death in children under five years.
The burden of micronutrient malnutrition and deficiencies in key micronutrients such as iron, vitamin A, iodine, and zinc, is estimated to affect 2 billion people worldwide. Pregnant women, adolescents and young children who are undergoing rapid growth and development are the most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies and, consequently, suffer the greatest adverse effects. The Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition (Black, et al., 2013) estimated that 90 million children less than 5 years (33%) and 15% of all pregnant women suffer from subclinical VAD (based on a threshold of serum retinol < 0.70 μmol/L), the consequences of which lead to lowered immunity and increased risk of mortality in children (Ruel-Bergeron, et al., 2015).
Micronutrient deficiency (MND) remains a major public health concern globally, which is most common in many developing countries; especially in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria. MND is caused by one or more of the following factors: inadequate food intake, poor dietary diversity, poor bioavailability and presence of disease or infections. At least, 340 million children under 5 suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Most common forms of are Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD), Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) and Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD). Micronutrients deficiencies is responsible for an estimated 7.3% of the global burden of disease, with Iron and Vitamin A deficiencies ranking among the 15 leading causes of global burden of disease burden.
In Nigeria, the prevalence of anaemia among children under 5 is 68%. About 49% of non-pregnant WRA, and 58% of pregnant women are estimated to be anaemic and 31% are iodine deficient. Prevalence of anaemia in children 6‒59 months of age is 71% (The global prevalence of anaemia in 2011, WHO).
Purpose of Assignment:
- The purpose of the assignment is to develop a new National Micronutrients Deficiency Control Guideline for the Federal Ministry of Health to replace the one developed in 2013.
- Scan: gather past and current evidence at the national and global level including WHO recommendations at a global level, other global level evidence, national policy, strategies and programme document.
- Review the 2013-2018 MNDC and pre-existing Guidelines, related nutrition policy documents, other guidelines, strategies and programme documents to identify gaps, lessons, best practices, scope and other information as inputs for the new guideline and to ensure coherence of the new guideline with national priorities, synergies and linkages.
- Facilitate stakeholders’ meetings
- Draft a new MNDC guideline and share/present in a stakeholder meeting.
- Consolidate stakeholders’ input into the MNDC guidelines, including follow up consultation and gathering additional information.
- Develop final MNDC guideline (final draft).
Qualifications or Specialized Knowledge / Experience Required
- A minimum of Master’s Degree in relevant field (Nutrition, Public / Global Health, Epidemiology) with relevant experience in Nutrition.
- Minimum of eight (8) years of proven expertise in the development and/ or revision of health/ nutrition guidelines and strategies.
- Professional experience and/background in nutrition programming especially micronutrient deficiency control.
- Excellent communication skills in English language (written and verbal).
- Willingness to comply with UNICEF Harmonised Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) approaches such as micro-assessments, spot-checks including at end-user level.
Application Closing Date
31st August, 2020 by 23:55:00 GMT+0100 (West Africa Standard Time).
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
- UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
- 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.
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
- Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage)
- Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors
- Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.