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Cameroon has a generalized HIV epidemic with over 500,000 persons living with HIV, a national prevalence of 3.4% among women and 2.7% in men aged 15-59 years. Among women, the prevalence increases with age from 3.4% for 20-24 years, 3.7% for 25-29 years, 4.1% for 30-34 years, to 6.5% for 35-39 years . The South, Adamaoua and East Regions have the highest HIV prevalence rates: 5.8%, 5.6% and 4.1% respectively. Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable and have a 9-times higher incidence than boys in the 15-24 years age group.
Since 2020, UNICEF supports 55 health districts in 6 Regions (Adamaoua, East, Far-North, North, West and South). In the 55 health districts, in 2020, 341,517 (88%) out of 386,036 pregnant women accessed antenatal care and 303,375 (89%) pregnant women were tested for HIV. Overall, 7,345 pregnant women were identified HIV positive leading to an HIV positive rate of 2.42%, and 6,469 (88%) HIV positive pregnant women were put on ART medication. Among expected HIV exposed babies, only 4,158 (57%) received prophylactic ART at birth to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, 3,009 (41%) were tested for HIV at 6-8 weeks and 118 (3.92%) were infected with HIV. Regarding HIV care and treatment for children and adolescents living with HIV, 6,128 out of 18,807 HIV positive expected children and adolescents were identified and put on ART medication leading to an ART coverage of only 32.6%.
One of the main challenges of the HIV/AIDS response is the weak capacity of Laboratories, Diagnostics and Supply chain management systems. In 2021, 40 high-Tech diagnostic devices (Point-Of-Care) were acquired by UNICEF and installed in 40 district hospitals for processing the HIV Early infant diagnosis and viral load testing. Moreover, HIV commodities for testing are needed to be continuously available in order to reduce stock-outs. Therefore, there is a need for capacity strengthening of key stakeholders at all levels, close monitoring, supervision and mentoring of health care providers as well as laboratory staff for the optimal functioning of the laboratory system at the district and regional levels and of the supply chain management system. This will contribute to develop an effective HIV testing and viral load monitoring system at the district level which will increase enrolment of infected children and adolescents into care and treatment
How can you make a difference?
The objective is to provide technical support Regional and District levels in planning, managing, implementing, monitoring, and reporting of progress of maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health (MNCAH) programs including HIV/AIDS. Specifically, the consultant will be responsible of:
Technical guidance to regional implementing partners for workplan development, implementation, and monitoring of key MNCH interventions Support health system strengthening especially the Laboratory, diagnostics, Drugs and medical supplies component at the regional and district levels Ensuring regional and district operational plans include innovative interventions for improving MNCAH health activities Provide support to key implementing partners to deliver effective combination HIV prevention to youths and adolescents in schools and out-of-schools Provide support to improve demand and access to quality PMTCT services for pregnant/breastfeeding women, their children and male partners Strengthen decentralization to primary health care facilities and task shifting to nurses and community actors of the HIV/AIDS care and treatment for people children and adolescents Support the optimal use of POC for early infant diagnosis (EID) and viral load monitoring (VL), and linkage to effective treatment and clinical decision making Support monitoring of supplies and commodities for health and HIV Preparing timely and quality project report in line with grant commitments Support the development of quarterly financial request of regional and district implementing partners for MNCAH interventions Supervise key implementing partners in delivering high impact MNCAH interventions Create and maintain national partnerships and networks with key technical stakeholders to support HIV program, policy, advocacy and diagnostic needsat the regional and district levels Follow up the Quality assurance activities (monitoring of DCT, programmatic visits). Technical Leadership and partnership building capacity development on screening, diagnostics and surveillance Convene necessary trainings and provide technical inputs to support and develop guidance and knowledge sharing on combination HIV prevention, PMTCT and pediatric HIV care and treatment Support implementation of HIV surveillance activities and laboratory network strengthening Provide guidance on quality assurance for laboratories at regional and district levels Support HIV screening activities for HIV, Syphilis and other diseases Communications and Knowledge Management Support the timely reporting and use of data for decision-making by regional and district implementing partners Support evidence generation and the analysis of HIV programming, health system strengthening, and related health systems, through documentation, annual reporting, and assessment of promising practices Support Coordination and the effective dissemination of promising practices Introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the effective eMTCT and universal access to ART for HIV+ children and adolescents.
The deliverables are:
The Situation analysis of MNCAH and PMTCT, pediatric and adolescent HIV care and treatment in the two supported Regions is available for each priority health district The Stakeholder analysis is available Key activities for T4 Trimester are budgeted and submitted to UNICEF Reports of supervision, coordination and field support activities The regionals PMTCT, pediatric and adolescent HIV care, and treatment 2022 annual report is available The 2023 Regional PMTCT, pediatric and adolescent HIV care, and treatment workplan Interventions of T1 and budgeted and submitted to UNICEF Report of T1 activities of all stakeholders Reports of supervision, coordination and field support activities Report of T1 activities of all stakeholders Final report available including lessons learnt
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Advanced university degree (Masters) in one of the following or related: Public Health. Family Health
Knowledge of PMTCT, HIV care, and treatment for children
At least 5 years of relevant experience working in the areas of global health, HIV and /or development, laboratory diagnostics, project management or related areas, and child survival & health care. Experience managing projects and reporting to donors and a demonstrable track record in country-level support are essential.
Experience in HIV/AIDS program in a UN system agency is an asset
Fluent in French and English.
Enter Disciplines: Public Health, HIV/AIDS, Laboratory
How to apply:
Interested candidates are kindly requested to apply and upload the following documents:
Cover letter/application[MSN1] CV or P11 Financial quote at a daily rate in XAF. Financial proposal that will include: your daily/monthly rate (in XAF) to undertake the terms of reference Indicate your availability
General Terms and Conditions of the Contract:
Under the consultancy agreements, payment is deliverable-based as defined in the Terms of Reference. All remuneration must be within the contract agreement. No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant/contractor. Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on the UNICEF budget. Consultants will be required to sign the Health statement for consultants/Individual contractors prior to taking up the assignment, and to document that they have appropriate health insurance, including Medical Evacuation. Mention is it as per the General Terms and Conditions of the Contract.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
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 offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions, or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need a reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterward in your assignment.
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.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations, or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts