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Consultancy position: Micronutrient

VACANCY#: UNICEF/MLW/2014/014

1. BACKGROUND

UNICEF Malawi aims at ensuring that children under the age of 5 have access to quality nutritional services for the management of micronutrient deficiencies for this age group. The Nutrition section is mandated to work closely with the Government of Malawi, through the Department of Nutrition HIV/AIDS (OPC-DNHA), the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Industry, academic institutions and industry in order to achieve this objective. A number of interventions have successfully been implemented over the years such as supplementation with vitamin A, promotion of fortified foods such as sugar, oil and flour. UNICEF is committed to the strengthening of salt monitoring in Malawi for iodine content to eliminate Iodine deficiency disorders. The Nutrition section works with district health officials to ensure wide coverage of Vitamin A supplementation targeting children and post-partum. In an effort to establish the impact of various micronutrient interventions, OPC-DNHA is planning to conduct a National Micronutrient Survey planned for 2015 in collaboration with the National Statistics Office. UNICEF is involved in preparations for this survey and a consultant is required to provide support to the survey team during the design of the survey and facilitating the procurement of supplies in readiness for the survey. 

UNICEF specifically supports the provision of adequately fortified foods to vulnerable children and mothers. It collaborates with food quality institutions such as the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health in the development of local food fortification standards and establishing quality procedures. UNICEF requires the service of a consultant to facilitate the collaboration between MBS and OPC-DNHA in the development of standards for specified fortified foods that are locally produced. UNICEF supports vitamin A supplementation and works with district health officials to ensure that adequate supplies are available and distributed for both routine and campaign programs. The consultant is expected to work with stakeholders to manage emerging issues related to coverage and reporting. The Government of Malawi is committed to implementing the use of Micronutrient Powders (MNPs) at household level in the districts. The UNICEF consultant will support DNHA in the adoption of this strategy as part of enhancing maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding.  According to the 2009 Malawi Micronutrient Survey, anaemia rates were very high among under-five children and use of MNPs is expected to contribute to a reduction in this regard. Under the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, use of MNPs is a priority to address anaemia rates. 

Malawi has made much progress in developing systems for monitoring fortified foods at national and district levels for the determination of compliance. Sentinel surveillance sites have been established for household monitoring and the consultant will work with stakeholders from Government to continue the utilisation of these site for monitoring specified micronutrient status.

UNICEF therefore seeking the services of an individual consultant to provide technical support to the activities outlined above as a member of the Nutrition section at UNICEF Malawi office. 

2. SCOPE OF WORK

  1. Under the general guidance of the Chief of Nutrition, and these terms of reference, the consultant shall provide support to OPC-DNHA and Ministry of Health in the preparations for the micronutrient survey, vitamin A supplementation, food fortification, the micronutrient powders initiative
  2. Support preparations for the National Micronutrient Survey through participation at technical meetings and procurement of necessary supplies for the survey
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders and development partners in the development of survey documents and budgets for financial support
  4. Provide technical support to OPC-DNHA in the development of national standards  for fortification of  locally produced complementary foods
  5. Collaborate with Ministry of Health officials in the implementation and documentation of Vitamin A Supplementation for children and post-partum women for routine and campaign distribution
  6. Work with Ministry of Health Departments in establishing micronutrient content of fortified foods on the market, report compilation and implementation of necessary redress action at production or import sites.
  7. Work with OPC-DNHA and Ministry of Health  in utilising existing sentinel surveillance sites  for monitoring micronutrient status and quality of fortified foods at household level
  8. Provide technical support to  quality assurance programs at Ministry of Health Nutrition Laboratory (CHSU) for urinary iodine testing and micronutrients in fortified foods
  9. Establishing funding gaps for micronutrient initiatives and development of funding proposals
  10. Support the development of a national strategy for adopting micronutrient powders (MNPs)  at district level and rolling out of the program to some districts of Malawi 
  11. Representing UNICEF at  relevant meetings in line with the requirements of these terms of reference and the management of micronutrient malnutrition in Malawi

3. EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE 

  • Advance university degree in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition or related sciences preferable.
  • Five years of experience in implementing Quality Control and Assurance procedures for food fortification, surveys. Experience in the development of food fortification legislation, standards, product development and monitoring will be an added advantage.
  • Strong writing skills in English

4. DURATION 

11 Months  

5. METHOD OF APPLICATION

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV and Personal History Form (P-11 form) (which can be downloaded from our website and attach copies of their certificates. Please indicate your daily/monthly rate to undertake the terms of reference above. 

Applications should be sent on or before 27 April 2014 to the following address:hrmalawi@unicef.org 

NOTE:

  • UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly females are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be acknowledged.
  • Applications sent through the post office or hand delivered is not accepted.

UNICEF IS A SMOKE FREE ENVIRONMENT 

 

 
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