Zambia Child Health Advisor at Global Health Technical Assistance and Mission Support Project (GH-TAMS)

Lusaka, Full Time

Global Health Technical Assistance and Mission Support Project (GH-TAMS)
Location: Zambia
State: Lusaka
Job type: Full-Time
Job category: Healthcare/Medical Jobs in Zambia

Job Description

Job Description
GH-TAMS is seeking public health candidates for a six-month consultancy based in Zambia working with the USAID Mission as acting Child Health Advisor. Start date is approximately September 19, 2022.
Since 1977, USAID has supported the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) to improve the health of its citizens. The Ministry of Health has been a proactive partner and has adopted many evidence-based policies, resulting in one of the most conducive health policy environments in the region. Relationships between the U.S. government and other donors are strong, and coordination between all parties is regular and ongoing.
Zambia is a Maternal and Child Health Priority Country, and receives approximately $8-12 million annually. Over the years, Zambia has made great strides in improving health, as highlighted in the 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) that compared progress over five years compared to the previous 2013-2014 ZDHS. In this period, the number of women delivering babies in health centers rather than at home increased significantly from 67 to 84 percent, and births attended by a skilled provider increased from 64 to 80 percent. As a result, pregnancy-related maternal mortality dropped 30 percentfrom 398 to 278 deaths per 100,000 live births. This reduction in maternal mortality builds on the successes achieved under the USAID Saving Mothers Giving Life initiative, and other investments in maternal and child health and family planning. Between 2007 and 2018, for instance, unmet need for family planning among married Zambian women decreased from 27 percent to 20 percent, contributing to the reduction in maternal mortality.
The majority or about 61 percent of under-five mortality falls within the post-neonatal period (1-59 months) and is largely due to preventable illnesses such as acute respiratory infections (ARI), diarrhea, malaria, and under nutrition. Under-five mortality has declined from 75 to 61 deaths per 1,000 live births over the five year period. This reduction is more significant in older children, with a smaller reduction in infant deaths from 45 to 42 per 1,000 live births and a concerning increase in neonatal mortality from 24 to 27 per 1,000 live births. Chronic malnutrition (stunting) for children under five decreased from 40 percent in 2013 to 35 percent in 2018, while four percent are acutely malnourished (wasted), and 12 percent are underweight. Seventy-three percent of children aged below six months are exclusively breastfed, though only 11 percent of children aged 6-23 months are appropriately fed based on recommended infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. Basic vaccination coverage among children aged 12 to 23 months increased from 68 to 75 percent.
Rural, northern Zambia continues to suffer from a high malaria burden, with prevalence for children under five at more than 20 percent in some provinces. Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene remain very low, particularly in rural areas. An estimated 6.3 million Zambians lack regular access to safe water, 11.2 million lack access to sanitation, and 14 million do not practice appropriate basic hygiene behaviors.
Though Zambia has seen many successes in health and overall declines in maternal and child mortality, significant challenges remain considering the disparities in coverage of interventions and the quality of care at subnational levels. Thus, the unfinished child survival and nutrition agenda, ensuring essential newborn care, and preventing maternal mortality are areas for more intensive focus and action.
Role and Responsibilities
The consultant will provide guidance, monitoring and senior level technical assistance to the USAID/Zambia Health Team and the Government of the Republic of Zambia. S/he will assist USAID and the GRZ to strengthen technical and programmatic expertise by sharing evidence-based best practices, including integration of child health with maternal, newborn, HIV, nutrition, and malaria activities during implementation, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation efforts. S/he will emphasize GRZ led activities that strengthen the quality and eff