Consultant to Conduct and Coordinate Micronutrient Deficiency Assessment

HEALTH SYSTEMS STRENGTHENING FOR HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

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 REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

 Title of Assignment: Consultant to Conduct and Coordinate Micronutrient Deficiency Assessment

 Reference Number: SZ-MOH-431101-CS-INDV

 Project Background

The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini through the Ministry of Health (MOH) is implementing a project that endeavours to improve the coverage and quality of key reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), nutrition and non-communicable disease (NCD) services (hypertension and diabetes) in Eswatini. The 5-year project entitled “Health System Strengthening for Human Capital Development (HSSHCD) Project” under the MOH will make substantial investments in strengthening the health system and improving the nutrition service delivery across the life cycle in order to address critical human capital challenges specifically stunting and child and adult mortality. The project has four components namely, Component 1: Improve health service delivery to increase the coverage and quality of health services to build human capital; Component 2: Increase community demand for RMNCAH, nutrition and NCD services; Component 3: Strengthen the MOH’s stewardship capacity to manage essential health and nutrition services and project activities; and Component 4: Contingent Emergency Response.

  1. Background to the Assignment

Micronutrient deficiencies cause a variety of morbidities and increased mortality which are most severe in children, adolescent girls and pregnant women. Micronutrient surveys help to assess micronutrient deficiencies with the largest public health burdens amongst women of reproductive age, children 6-59 months, and adolescents to inform policy and program scale-up. The only nationwide survey in Eswatini on micronutrient deficiency in children was the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 2007, which estimated iron and vitamin A consumption and the prevalence of anemia and vitamin A deficiency in the 4 regions of the country. Prevalence of anemia was 42% in children 6-59 months and 30% in women 15-49 years of age. The survey will therefore provide updated information in this regard.

 Objectives of the study

  • To determine the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, folate deficiency, zinc and iodine deficiency in children 6-59 months, school-age-children, adolescents, and women of reproductive age in Eswatini.
  • To determine the risk factors for micronutrient deficiencies in children 6-59 months, adolescents, and women of reproductive age in Eswatini.
  • To recommend evidence-based interventions and policies to address micronutrient deficiencies in Eswatini including a micronutrient provision program in country.

The target group living in rural and urban areas of the four regions of the country is:

  • Children 6-59 months of age
  • School-age children (5-9 years)
  • Adolescents (10-19) years
  • Women of reproductive age (15-49) years.
  1. Purpose of the assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to support the MOH in planning, designing and conducting a micronutrient specific survey in Eswatini, to generate data and evidence (at national and regional levels) on the micronutrient and nutritional status of children, adolescents and women in the country to inform policy development and programming.

  1. Scope of Work for the Assignment
  2. To develop an inception report detailing the survey protocol and timeline
  3. To develop and finalise the standard operating procedures, training manual and all relevant study documents.
  4. To train and supervise data collection teams and ensure adherence to all study procedures.
  5. To lead, oversee, and guide the survey implementation including data collection, quality assurance and coordinate laboratory analysis with the Head of the Nutrition, who will be responsible for laboratory data analysis.
  6. To provide study progress updates to relevant stakeholders, including the advisory or technical working groups.
  7. To analyse survey data and generate (draft and final) reports.
  8. To package and present study findings to the core team, senior management team, and relevant stakeholders.
  9. Competencies and experience required
  • Masters in food and nutrition, Public Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Research and Evaluation, or Medicine and other related fields;
  • Minimum 10 years of practical experience in designing, coordinating and managing large population health research surveys (e.g. DHS, MICS); Experience of conducting/managing a large micronutrient survey is preferred.
  • Proven experience in developing and leading household and clinical surveys, proven experience of conducting micronutrient surveys and producing the final reports.
  • Must be familiar with a Statistical Package suitable for nutrition related data (e.g., STATA, R-Studio etc), data collection and management (e.g RedCap or Kobo collect)  and all relevant computer applications in general
  • Strong analytical, writing and presentation skills.
  • Working experience in Southern African countries is preferred.
  • Strong analytical, report writing skills, presentation skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication and facilitation skills in English. Knowledge of local language is an advantage.
  • Flexibility, team player, ability to work with multidisciplinary teams.
  1. Resources: The following resources will be provided:
  • Office space for the development work with office related accessories
  • Conferencing accessories during presentations, validation and training sessions.
  • Resources for field work.
  • Research assistants will be recruited through the National Nutrition Council
  1. Reporting Requirements: The Consultant will closely work with the Technical Working Group comprising the MOH and development partners; and directly report to the Nutrition Head of Programs and the Project Coordinator.
  2. Duration of Service: The assignment will be for sixty days spread between August 2024 and January 2025.
  3. Duty Station: Mbabane, with field visits, as required.
  4. Remuneration and payment schedule: In accordance with relevant Kingdom of Eswatini guidelines, as applicable.

11.APPLICATIONS:

Submit a detailed copy of updated curriculum vitae (duties inclusive), references and scanned copies of notarized academic or professional certifications.

Application should be addressed to:

The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health; 2nd Floor Ministry of Justice Building, Mbabane. Postal address: The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health P.O. Box 5; Mbabane, Eswatini.

Electronic applications should be sent to Project Coordinator; [email protected] & [email protected] copy to [email protected]  and [email protected] no later than 11.00 hours on 28th  June, 2024. All applications will be acknowledged but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Contacts: (00268) 24045514; (00268) 24042431.

 

 

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