UNICEF National Consultancy - Support to Ministry of Health to Develop Expanded Program of Immunization Jobs in Malawi

UNICEF National Consultancy - Support to Ministry of Health to Develop Expanded Program of Immunization Jobs in Malawi


  • The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, that started in Wuhan China, on the 27th of March 2020, has affected more than 140 countries with >20million cases globally and >1million cases in Africa. Malawi registered it’s first cases on April 2 and as of 7th September registered 5,614 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 175 deaths. There has been a spike in cases in the month of July with a worrisome increase in the trend of local transmission during this period.

  • For many years, the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in Malawi has sustained a high national coverage (above 80%) for all antigens. Administrative data on routine immunization now shows further increases in national immunization coverage in 2019 and 2020 compared to the coverage in previous years. For instance, the coverage of Penta3 increased to 95% in 2019 compared to 92% and 89% in 2018.

  • The Malawi Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF, WHO and other key stakeholders are clearly concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on the delivery of essential health services and disruption of Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) services. Despite good coverage maintained during the pandemic, this may change given the pandemic is ongoing, fear that caregivers might be reluctant to come to Health Facilities; or outreaches may increasingly be cancelled. Surveillance systems may also be weakened increasing risks of outbreak spilling over from neighboring countries especially Mozambique and Zambia. To mitigate this impact the MOH with support has developed and rolled out service continuity guidelines. COVID-19 however continues to increase fragility of health systems by draining the already limited resources for delivery of services and straining the Human Resources hence putting the entire primary health care services at jeopardy.

  • In order to ensure the resumption of critical EPI activities in the period post-COVID-19, a consultant is required to support the MOH to develop plan to maintain and strengthen EPI program, to ensure the program is resistant to the continued outbreak.


    The justifications for the consultancy:

  • Additional temporary capacity on a consultancy assignment to dedicate time to work with EPI, other MoH departments (MNH, Nutrition) and partners in order to develop the plan for program restoration and strengthening

  • Specific expertise not immediately available in the CO to develop the EPI recovery and strengthening plans

    Purpose of the Assignment

  • To provide technical support to the EPI unit of the Ministry of Health in developing the EPI recovery plan to inform program planning for a speedy and effective normalization of EPI activity implementation and delivery of services in the period after COVID-19 is brought under control in Malawi.

  • The recovery plan will outline the strategies and resources needed to facilitate the implementation of activities aimed at reversing any negative impact COVID-19 will cause and in the long-term, making EPI program resilient in the context of PHC in Malawi.

    How can you make a Difference?

    The consultant will be expected to provide technical support for carrying out the following tasks:

  • Conduct virtual consultations with MoHP units/departments (EPI, CHSS, Planning, CMED, QMD, Health Promotion, Nutrition)
    , and subnational level staff on the EPI recovery plan to understand status of EPI service delivery in the COVID period including putting in place system to sustain coverage after Covid or during any other emergency (build resilience), and gather inputs and key considerations in the development of the plan including proposed strategies.

  • Conduct desk review of relevant existing plans and key documents and available local secondary data ( such as the COVID-19 National Contingency Plan policy, Country multi-year plans, HSSPII, EPI Annual Plan, Child Health Strategy, report on continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 outbreak) to further inform the development of the recovery plan

  • Develop recovery objectives and timelines to ensure resumption of EPI services and activities

  • Formulate draft strategies and activities to address expected drops in EPI coverage including suggestions on implementation of Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs)/Periodic Routine Intensification of immunizations, communication and social mobilization activities required.

  • Prepare a draft EPI recovery plan document for review by MOH, UNICEF and key EPI stakeholders

  • Facilitate participatory process (virtual workshop) with MoHP and key stakeholders to review the draft recovery plan and subsequently collate and integrate stakeholder inputs.

  • Undertake costing of the technical and financial resources required to implement the EPI Recovery plan using applicable costing tools, and complete the plan with costings.

  • Facilitation virtual workshop to review the final draft costed EPI recovery plan and facilitate adoption meeting by MOH and key stakeholders

  • Preparation and submission of final costed EPI recovery plan document to UNICEF MCO, MOH and key stakeholders

    To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced University degree in Public health, Business management, Social science, Economics or in relevant field.

  • A minimum of eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national or international levels in health sector program analysis, management and leadership.

  • Good understanding of the Expanded Programme Immunization preferably on urban immunization, including national level strategic planning and implementation across the health system tiers.

  • Have experience on social mobilization strategies for health program, preferably for immunization program in urban setting

  • Familiarity with key MOH, UNICEF and Gavi related work streams, guidelines and processes

  • Proven experience of facilitation of strategic discussion on public health program management at national and international level.

  • Proven experience in leadership, management and coordination of public health program.

  • Proven experience in programme situation analysis/review, planning and budgeting

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Strong analytical, negotiation, oral and written communication skills

  • Effective presenter including ability to adapt the message and visual aids for multiple audiences to deliver concise, impactful presentations of primary health care interventions.

  • Effective facilitator with proven ability to engage and train a group of individuals at national level and for front line health workers as well

  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment

  • Written and spoken fluency in English

    For every Child, you demonstrate…

  • UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; UNICEF National Consultancy - Support to Ministry of Health to Develop Expanded Program of Immunization Jobs in Malawi

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