Malaria Assessment Consultancy

Job
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 29 Jan 2017

Home-based Consultancy with frequent travel.

Duration: 3 months equivalent full-time work with up to four field mission travels of 7-10 days each.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

General Background of Project or Assignment

Malaria is a leading cause of death and a major public health threat worldwide, with approximately 3.2 billion people in 97 countries at risk of contracting malaria. However, it is both preventable and curable. Dramatic improvements have been made worldwide since 2000, with malaria incidence falling by 37 per cent and death rates having fallen 60 per cent by 2015. However, resistance to the insecticides used for prevention, the drug artemisinin which forms the basis of malaria treatment and even the partner drugs used in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), has been increasing and is threatening progress made towards the containment and eradication of malaria.

Falciparum malaria can be rapidly fatal and is a priority during the acute phase of a humanitarian emergency. Effective malaria prevention and control programmes prevent malaria transmission by promoting personal and population-level protection and effective vector control, and providing appropriate case management with early diagnostic testing of suspected malaria and effective treatment for those with confirmed infection. However, malaria control in humanitarian emergencies is often complicated by the breakdown of existing health services and programmes, displacement of health workers and field staff with malaria expertise, movement of non-immune people to endemic areas, and concentrations of people, often already in poor health, in high-risk, high-exposure settings. Regions whose populations are most affected by humanitarian emergencies are often those with the greatest malaria burden. Consequently, malaria can be a significant cause of death and illness in many emergencies.

Aim

An analysis of global malaria incidence in HIS reporting refugee sites shows a rising trend of malaria especially in some countries in East and Horn of Africa. The aim of this consultancy is to determine if all measures are being taken to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality and if there are programmatic interventions that could be improved. The operational focus of the assessment will be Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia- Gambella, Kenya- Kakuma.

The main areas of the assessment will be to

a) Describe the malaria epidemiology and entomology in these sites, using existing data (HIS, DHIS, national data, literature review);

b) Look at the quality and effectiveness (scope, coverage, health seeking/ behavioural change/impact) of current interventions ranging from prevention to case management (early diagnosis and treatment); malaria in pregnancy; laboratory diagnosis; surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; community participation including around LLIN use, IEC material about malaria prevention, etc;

c) Review epidemic preparedness, health staff knowledge and capacity, coordination with national counterparts (malaria programme, MoH) and other actors.

This assessment will be done with reference to the national malaria plan and its local/regional strategies.

Objectives and Tasks

1) Study of malaria epidemiology and entomology (partly home-based desk review, partly field-based)

a) Carry out a detailed assessment of the malaria burden and program implementation strategies in the selected sites,

b) Review studies on the environment of the sites appropriate to achieving a better understanding of malarial transmission,

c) Analyse HIS data (malaria incidence, mortality, RDT positivity etc)

d) Together with other existing studies/ data (KAP survey, ACT efficacy study and ACT adherence study), interpret the malaria epidemiology in the targeted sites.

e) Review evidence on patterns of resistance to insecticides and/or ACT treatment which may affect the refugee population (local, transit, origin)

2) Evaluation of malaria interventions (field-based)

a) Study the results of the surveys carried out on bed net coverage and utilization (SENS etc) in conjunction with an evaluation of the most recent LLIN distribution campaign/ strategy

b) Assess the level of community participation and involvement in malaria prevention, early treatment seeking etc (quantitative survey or qualitative focus group discussions etc)

c) Evaluate the clinical management of malaria using for instance the Balanced Score Cards or other clinical evaluation techniques.

d) Evaluate the laboratory confirmation and quality assurance processes using malaria programme evaluation standards.

3) Formulate key programmatic recommendations and develop a site/location specific priority plan of action.

Qualifications

  • Clinical background, MD or nurse, with a masters degree in public health or epidemiology.
  • Strong background in assessment of malaria programs.
  • Proven experience working directly with ministries of health and malaria programmes in low and middle income countries.
  • Strong research, analytical and quantitative skills.
  • Proven ability to design, develop and implement field studies, including development of protocols, analysis of data and publication of results.
  • Excellent written English and analytical skills.
  • Past working experience with health programmes for refugees is an advantage.
  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience.
How to apply:

Please send your application letter with CV or P-11 form to the UNHCR Public Health Section at hqphn@unhcr.org, mentioning in the subject of your Email " Malaria Assessment Consultancy".