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.
And we never give up.
For every child, Care
As part of considering long process of advertising, selecting, and recruiting Individual Consultants for accelerating Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B in the MENA countries , MENA Region Office is planning on establishing rosters of consultants in different technical areas, regularly updated, that allow to speed up recruitment process at the Regional Office and Country Office level.
Candidates can be selected in one or more of the required technical categories, depending on their qualifications and interest.
If approved by the reviewing committee, the candidate will remain in the MENA Regional Office Consultant Rosters database for 36 months, unless requested to remove her/him earlier. During this period, candidates might be consulted several times, depending on requests flow.
Durations of consultancy will vary depending on demand, project specifications, deliverables and funding availability. To note that the maximum duration will be 11.5 months.
Recommended Consultants from Consultant Roster and hired by the requesting section will be issued a contract which is subject to UNICEF General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants / Individual Contractors if hired by UNICEF.
Consultants may be requested to work in any country with the Health/MNCH/HIV cluster or a Health/MNCH/HIV sector, or remotely, as determined by the specification of the project. The work may include incidental travel to participate in field work, workshops or conferences; such travel will be governed by respective UNICEF/UN agency/NGO travel policies for consultants.
How can you make a difference?
Over the last decade, there has been remarkable progress globally on elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV through advocacy and worldwide leadership, political will, and allocation of resources for urgent action to address inequities and end AIDS in children. Enormous efforts were made to address the challenges and several countries globally have committed to and have adopted policies towards either dual or triple elimination and to reduce new infant HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B infections to very low levels. As of December 2021, over 15 countries globally were certified by WHO for elimination of either HIV and/or syphilis.
The global success story of EMTCT has not been seen in MENA/Eastern Mediterranean region. Due to the complex emergencies, armed conflicts and protracted crisis including cultural barriers limiting knowledge and constraining health seeking behaviours, pregnant/new mothers and children were already exposed to multiple risks resulting in increased morbidity and mortality from preventable causes. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened this situation and has put the fragile health systems in the region under unprecedented stress resulting in significant disruptions in the provision of essential health care services within primary health care for the most vulnerable populations including women, children
and adolescents. There are large disparities within the region and between countries on access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services for pregnant/new mothers and children. According to the UNAIDS Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) reporting in 2020, only 25% (global target: ≥95%) of pregnant women received anti-retroviral drugs to reduce the chance of transmitting HIV infection to their babies. The elimination of mother to child transmission (EMTCT) rate of HIV for the MENA region is 31% whereas the global elimination target is <2 in non-breastfeeding and 5% in breastfeeding populations.
New HIV infections among children (0 – 14 years) decreased from 1,600 in 2010 and 1,400 in 2020 (12.5% decrease). This slow decline in the number of new HIV infections among children in the last decade signifies that the agenda is still unfinished. Furthermore, new HIV infections in children have increased in Algeria and Egypt. In 2020, HIV testing among pregnant women ranged from <1% in Egypt, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia, 8% in Sudan, 14% in Morocco, 72% in Iran, 77% in Djibouti and >95% in Oman (Global target is ≥ 95%). Having met the criteria for elimination, Oman is the first country in the region which is currently being validated for elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.
Identifying pregnant women early during antenatal care, increasing testing coverage of pregnant women, access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and syphilis treatment, retention in mother-baby pairs, early infant diagnosis (EID) and ART coverage for children with HIV and treatment for syphilis and Hepatitis B birth dose exposed children, addressing stigma and discrimination and engagement and empowerment of communities including women living with HIV in the EMTCT efforts remain compelling priorities in the region. Primary health care and community systems need to be strengthened to address loss to follow up and ensure access to testing, treatment and care.
To accelerate the progress towards elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis B (dual/triple elimination), UNICEF Middle and North Africa regional office, WHO EMRO, IOM Middle East Response, UNAIDS MENA, and other UN partners are working together to support country offices and national counterparts (Heath/MNCH and HIV) in enhancing capacities on EMTCT in the MENA/EMR region. In 2022 – 2023, the regional UN joint team members collaborating on EMTCT are seeking to further enhance the capacities of national MNCH and HIV focal points in the countries on Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B in 8 (Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon) including two Gulf countries in the MENA region. Other relevant sectors will also be engaged according to the contextual realities in the countries.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced degree in public health, social science, or related field
- At least 5 years of experience of working with governments and UN partners in Middle East North Africa and/or other regions.
- Extensive professional knowledge and experience in HIV, with significant technical expertise and experience on prevention/Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B and/or Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), Primary Health Care and Health Systems Strengthening.
- Strong strategic and analytical skills
- Good communication skills, including writing skills
- Ability to multi-task and meet tight deadlines under pressure
- •Knowledge of English and Arabic
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 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.
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.
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. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).
To help us track our recruitment effort, please specify on the application form/indicate in your cover letter where (unjobvacancies.com) you saw this job posting.