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Fiji: International Consultant Vaccines and Child Survival Medicines Wastage Assessment, Solomon Islands

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Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Fiji
Closing date: 28 Sep 2018

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.

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For every child, quality health and nutrition services

The Solomon Islands is a double chain archipelago of more than 900 islands with a landmass of 28,400km2 and over 1.3 million km2 of Territorial Ocean. The country is considered as a fragile and least developing country (UN LDC status), with total population of 599,419[1] and annual birth cohort to be around 19,000 infants. There are nine provinces plus one city council in the country. With the vast expanse of territories inhibited by relatively small and widely dispersed populations, Solomon Islands shows unique characteristics in terms of supply chain management challenges.

The National Medical Store of the Solomon Islands manages all medical supplies in the country including vaccines. The supply chain system has three layers namely; the national Medical store where all supplies are received, processed, stored and delivered to the lower levels, the second level medical stores (SLMSs) which serves as the intermediate distribution center at the provincial level, and the health facilities which form the lowest level of the supply chain. There are over 350 health facilities in the country with 18 SLMSs. Solomon Islands currently uses the following vaccines; Bacillus Calmette–GuĂ©rin (BCG), Hepatitis B (Hep. B), Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV), Pentavalent Vaccines (DPT-Hep.B-Hib), Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV), Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV), Measles-Rubella (MR) and Tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccines. The country uses a mixture of single dose and multi-dose vials of these vaccines. In addition, the country uses Zinc and ORS for treatment of diarrhea. Vitamin A meant for supplementation is also available, as well as albendazole for deworming. Although these supplies are being used, there has not been any accurate estimation of wastages and its determinants. As such, no strategy has been developed to tackle the key determinants of vaccine wastages to help improve efficiency and coverage. There exist global guidelines which helps countries to monitor and control vaccine wastages to target levels[2]

UNICEF Pacific supports Solomon Islands in achieving its national child survival goals with an increased focus on strengthening supply chain systems to ensure uninterrupted supply of vaccines and essential childhood commodities. Solomon Islands being in accelerated Gavi transition phase, targets increasing vaccines and supplies efficiency to sustain the immunization program beyond the transition. This is in addition to other supply chain strengthening initiative and introducing new life saving vaccines to the routine schedule, which includes rotavirus, HPV and second dose of measles-rubella vaccines.

UNICEF Pacific is seeking an international consultant to technically assist the MHMS in conducting the vaccine wastage assessment while piggy-backing selected essential childhood medicines, and developing a comprehensive wastage reduction strategy and action plan for Solomon Islands.

How can you make a difference?

The Pacific Island countries including the Solomon Islands have shown high wastage rates of vaccine and essential medicines. This maybe contributed in part by the small and sparse population, coupled with logistical difficulties in reaching communities on different Islands. Identifying the key drivers and influencers of wastage will assist efforts for increased programme efficiency especially as Solomon Islands transitions from Gavi support, thereby ensuring more guaranteed vaccines and medicines security to reach all children with lifesaving interventions. The consultancy will involve providing technical guidance to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) in improving vaccine supply management and reducing waste of vaccines and essential childhood medicines in the country; through conducting a comprehensive vaccines and essential childhood medicines wastage assessment, developing a comprehensive vaccine wastage reduction strategy and drafting a multi-year action plan to reduce vaccines and essential childhood medicines wastage in the Solomon Islands. Findings from this consultancy will help the MHMS and UNICEF by informing more accurate wastage rates to be used in vaccines and supplies forecasting, identify opportunities to reduce avoidable wastages and strategies for doing so which will be captured in a comprehensive wastage reduction strategy for the Solomon Islands. Findings might also be applicable in other Pacific Islands countries.

The deliverable should be able to answer the following two questions:

  • How much wastage is there in vaccines and child survival commodities?
  • What can Solomon Islands do differently to reduce wastage?

Scope of Work/ Work Assignments:

Under the supervision of UNICEF, working under the guidance of the National EPI program and National Medical Stores (NMS), the focus of the assignment will include:

  • Draft a vaccine wastage assessment protocol and methodology covering all vaccination antigens used in the Solomon Islands; and include select essential childhood medicines namely- Vitamin A, Albendazole, Zinc and ORS. MCH Specialist, UNICEF Pacific Suva and Immunization Specialist, UNICEF Regional Office will sign off the assessment protocol and methodology.
  • Conduct a vaccine wastage assessment collecting at least three-year representative data from the national, provincial/second level medical stores and health facilities. Data collected for each vaccine and commodity should include stocks received, distributed and balances at each level. As per developed protocol.
  • Analyze data computing closed vial wastage, open vial wastage, and avoidable and non-avoidable wastage for each of the vaccines and childhood commodities. Compare wastage rates with international standards and make recommendations.
  • Draft a comprehensive report on the findings from the wastage assessment, which summarizes the findings, methodology and analysis showing the vaccine wastage rates and wastage factors for each individual vaccine antigen and dose presentation being used in the Solomon Islands.
  • Develop a Comprehensive vaccine wastage reduction strategy to achieve efficient (open and closed vial) vaccine wastage rates across the three levels of the supply chain in the Solomon Islands.
  • Draft a costed 5-year action plan to reduce vaccines and essential childhood medicines wastage, with clear accountabilities and, M&E framework. Emphasis should be placed on the 1st and 2nd year priority activity planning.
  • Incorporate essential child survival medicines namely- Vitamin A, Zinc, ORS, Albendazole into the vaccine wastage assessment, report and comprehensive strategy
  • Conduct a debriefing session for UNICEF Suva and Honiara and MHMS counterparts including the National Medical Stores officials; detailing the recommendations and action plan implementation needs.

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

Qualifications

  • University (preferably advanced) degree is required in supply chain management, industrial engineering, economics, logistics, business, operations management, public health or any other relevant field.

Experience

  • At least 5-7 years of experience, at the national and international levels, on immunization supply chain management, cold chain management, logistics or operations management and at least 3 years of experience on immunization/public health programmes.
  • Familiarity with vaccines and supplies stock management, cold chain systems, effective vaccine management, inventory policies, logistics, outsourcing, segmentation strategies, integration of health products, and other system design strategies
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas. Experience conducting similar study in low and middle-income countries an advantage.
  • Good writing and communication skills.
  • Computer skills, including strong quantitative analysis and reporting tools.

Financial Proposal:

The lump sum contract includes fees, living expenses and incidentals, cost of travel to and cost of one trip in economy class on the following route: Place of recruitment-Solomon Islands. However, the consultant has to make own arrangements for international travel to and from Solomon Islands upon approval of consultancy. UNICEF will agree with the consultant the required travel within SI and UNICEF will cover these transport costs. DSA will not be provided in addition as living allowance has already been included.

Consultants Work Plan: The duration of full-time consultancy is 3 months

Attached is the details Terms of Reference:TOR Vaccines and Child Survival Medicines Wastage Assessment Solomon Islands.docx

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.


How to apply:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=516277