Georgia: Consultancy for follow-up trainings for paediatricians and paediatric nurses in Abkhazia, Georgia

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Georgia
Closing date: 01 Aug 2017

Introduction

Maternal and child healthcare in Georgia’s Abkhazia, Georgia region remains poor, which was confirmed through the Mother and Child Health (MCH) assessments conducted for UNICEF by a team of an obstetrician, a neonatologist and a midwife in 2012, 2014 and 2017. In addition, late 2015 an initial IMCI assessment and training were conducted, which, quite expectedly, revealed the urgent need for further IMCI trainings and interventions in order to improve pediatric services in Abkhazia, Georgia . In 2016 another round of IMCI trainings were conducted for the MCH specialists in Abkhazia, Georgia , including study tour and on-job training for over ten pediatricians and pediatric nurses in Kazakhstan in September.

There is a lack of reliable data on child and maternal mortality rates within Abkhazia, Georgia or on critical child health indicators, such as nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, stunting etc. Locally available, but unconfirmed, data show a drop in perinatal mortality (from 15.0 to 5.0 per 1,000 live births in the recent years). This trend seems to be mainly due to recent perinatal care interventions by the medical staff of local maternities supported by UNICEF. There is also a lack of data on MCH for the region, while the data available through the local health care services (though quite unreliable) and estimations of international actors on the ground show that most of the indicators are far from meeting international standards and 2-3 times worse than e.g. in neighboring Russia and the rest of Georgia. Available figures are definitely underestimates, since many cases of stillbirths, early neonatal, infant and child deaths occur in Georgia proper and Russia, to which ca 15-20% of the population of Abkhazia, Georgia come for health care, especially those with serious and protracted health conditions.

UNICEF in Abkhazia, Georgia

UNICEF has been continuously providing assistance in Abkhazia, Georgia since 1994, focusing primarily on supporting the provision of basic services to children and youth in conflict affected areas, especially in the fields of maternal and child healthcare, education and child protection. UNICEF remains committed to continue the provision of assistance in Abkhazia, Georgia to ensure improved health, education and social outcomes for the most vulnerable. Recently UNICEF implemented, in cooperation with UNDP and UNFPA, an EU funded project “Access to Improved Quality Healthcare in Abkhazia, Georgia , 2013-2016”, which covered such areas as MCH including IMCI strategy Health promotion and communication, PHC, HIV/AIDS and population health. During this project the basement for further sustainable institutional changes in MCH in Abkhazia, Georgia was formed. The project was followed by USAID funded project “Horizons” in 2016, which covers health and education initiative in 2016-2020 and is implemented jointly by UNDP and UNICEF. This assistance is carried out within the framework of the 2016-20 UNICEF Country Programme and the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Development (Framework Document) for Georgia. UNICEF is also coordinating it’s activities in Abkhazia, Georgia through the Abkhazia, Georgia Strategic Partnership (ASP), which brings together the UN agencies and international NGOs present in Abkhazia, Georgia .

Objective

In order to address the above-described situation in Abkhazia, Georgia ‘s MCH sector, UNICEF aims at further strengthening the capacity of local health professionals to improve MCH services in the region. For this purpose, UNICEF’s Field Office in Sukhumi is seeking to recruit two consultants to provide a follow-up training to pediatricians and pediatric nurses on IMCI and related fields. The support provided by these consultants will focus especially on pediatric facilities, their practices and standards. The consultancy will be an integral part of other UNICEF initiatives in Abkhazia, Georgia , such as the strengthening of health services for children, immunization practices, health promotion and communication, PHC and perinatal care strengthening.

The consultancy is a follow-up activity to earlier MCH assessments and trainings conducted by UNICEF in Abkhazia, Georgia between 2012 and 2017. These earlier activities consisted as a rule of two components:

1. A periodical assessment of the MCH situation in Abkhazia, Georgia evaluating the progress made in the introduction of evidence-based medical practices and capacity development of medical professionals. These assessments contributed to further development of UNICEF’s strategic approach aiming at improving MCH in Abkhazia, Georgia , with the particular focus on perinatal and IMCI service provision, including programme development assistance to UNICEF and policy development assistance at the level of relevant local stakeholders;

2. Periodical follow-up trainings for medical professionals in pediatrics and related fields, using relevant MCH methodologies developed by UNICEF and WHO (e.g. IMCI training modules for health workers).

These Terms of Reference are defining the immediate tasks and deliverables for the next stage of capacity building of local medical professionals. At the same time, they set the ground for key activities to be conducted at a later stage with regard to re-assessing and evaluating the MCH situation in Abkhazia, Georgia , the progress in the capacity development of local medical professionals and the status of implementation of IMCI across Abkhazia, Georgia to ensure sustainability and institutional changes.

Scope of work

Under the direct supervision of the Sukhumi-based UNICEF Health & Nutrition Officer and in close collaboration with the Tbilisi-based UNICEF Health Officer, the two consultants will provide two IMCI training for healthcare workers in Abkhazia, Georgia : one for physicians and one for nurses.

The order of the trainings implementation to be defined in the discussion with the consultants and local healthcare workers in Abkhazia, Georgia . Deliverables and timelines for each training are presented in the table below.

The consultants will also take part in media sessions to promote IMCI principles and approaches among general population and target groups. During the trainings and in side meetings, the consultant to provide advice to UNICEF, medical professionals and local health authorities with regard to the adaption of IMCI in the Abkhazia, Georgia context in line with WHO IMCI guidelines on the following three components: 1. Improvements in the case management skills of health workers; 2. Improvements in the health systems required to deliver quality care and 3. Improvements in the households and community practices.

The aim of the follow-up IMCI trainings is to increase the knowledge of local medical health professionals on IMCI approaches, to strengthen the practical skills and capacities of local MCH health care workers and to introduce evidence-based WHO recommended practices in the routine health care for children.

Follow-up IMCI trainings are an integral part of the medium-term technical assistance of UNICEF aiming at strengthening the capacity of key medical personnel within the MCH sector in Abkhazia, Georgia through training and consultations. The capacity building/training of the medical professionals will be further developed through a number of monitoring and supervision activities in 2017-19 under USAID-funded “Horizons” project, component “Quality MCH Services” /activity “Mother & Child Health care Abkhazia, Georgia ” and other health-related UNICEF programmes.

Deliverables and Timelines

Key Actions

  • For each training:
  • Preparation of the draft training agenda

    Preparation and finalization of pre- and post-training workshop questionnaire (the same) for trainees

    Deliverables: Training agenda and finalized pre- and post-training questionnaires

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: One working day (before departure to Abkhazia, Georgia )

  • For each training:
  • At the beginning of each training administer the baseline questionnaire to assess the level of knowledge and skills before the training

    At the end of the training administer the post training questionnaire

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: July – Deccember’17

    For the training: Integrated Management of Early Childhood Illnesses (physicians)

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: 5 Days

    For the training: Integrated Management of Early Childhood Illnesses (nurses)

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: 5 Days

    Deliverables: Good quality interactive and participatory training

  • For each training:
  • Take part in media sessions to promote IMCI principles and approaches among general population and target groups

    Deliverables: Participation in media sessions

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: During the stay in Abkhazia, Georgia

    Provide advice to UNICEF, medical professionals and local health authorities with regard to the adaption of IMCI in the Abkhazia, Georgia context in line with WHO IMCI guidelines on the following three components: 1. Improvements in the case management skills of health workers; 2. Improvements in the health systems required to deliver quality care and 3. Improvements in the households and community practices

    Deliverables: Quality advice provided to UNICEF and local health stakeholders

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: During the training and in side meetings (included in the 5 working days under action 2)

  • For each training:
  • Training report

    Further refinement of the recommendations for development and implementation of the short and medium-term strategy for UNICEF’s engagement in IMCI and integration with other MCH activities in Abkhazia, Georgia

    Deliverables: The final report containing the results of the pre and post training questionnaire for trainees as well as the contribution to the originally developed recommendations on the way forward

    Delivery Date (tentative), number of working days per Consultant: Two weeks after the return from each on-site visit (one working day); all trainings to be completed by end-December 2017

    Total: 28 working days (14 days per consultant)

    Supervision and Reporting Responsibility

    Direct supervision of the two consultants will be provided by the Sukhumi-based UNICEF Health and Nutrition Specialist under the overall supervision of the UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Sukhumi. In case of need, support will also be provided to the consultants by the Tbilisi-based UNICEF Health Specialist.

    The two consultants will have to submit their final consultancy report within 2 weeks after completion of each mission in Abkhazia, Georgia , outlining key results of the training and their consultations with local medical professionals and health authorities, as well as recommendations for necessary follow-up actions.

    Eligibility Criteria

  • Relevant university degree;
  • Minimum 10 years of work experience in the fields of IMCI and MCH; UN experience in CIS countries would be an asset;
  • Proven experience in providing training on IMCI, preferably in CIS countries, especially the South Caucasus or Central Asia;
  • Good understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural realities in the former Soviet space;
  • Ability to communicate freely and provide training in Russian language.
  • Consultancy period

    The exact dates of the visits will be determined between the consultants, UNICEF and local health authorities. The duration of each consultancy will depend on the training selected and will be between five and eight working days per each of two consultants, out of which from three to six working days in Abkhazia, Georgia for the training and consultations with local medical professionals and health authorities, participation in media sessions. On top one working day will be assigned to work from home before the visit to Abkhazia, Georgia for preparations and the development of the training agenda and pre-/post-training questionnaires, as well as one working day after the visit for writing the mission report and recommendations. The overall amount of days for the consultancy visits is anticipated to be 14 days per each of two consultants during 2017.

    Remuneration

    Applicants are required to submit a financial proposal for the requested services of each assignment including the consultancy fee and travel costs. The remuneration will be negotiated between the applicants and UNICEF Georgia on the basis of the applicants’ proposal and will be paid to the chosen consultants upon submission of a satisfactory quality mission report of each training with the recommendations to UNICEF.

    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=506020

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