Vacancy Announcement: Health Specialist, Public Health in Emergencies (PHiE), P4, Nairobi, Kenya, 6 Months Temporary Appointment
Kenya is facing severe drought resulting from three consecutive failed rainy seasons. The poor performance of the October–December Short rains season and late start of the March – May Long Rain season has resulted in an estimated 4.1 million people being food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance signalling a deterioration in food security compared to 2.8 million people that was identified in mid-short rains season assessment in December 2021. UNICEF has declared an L-2 Corporate Emergency in early April 2022 in response to the Horn of Africa Drought Emergency, including in Kenya. UNICEF Kenya seeks an experienced Public Health in Emergencies to support the overall management and coordination of UNICEF Kenya’s health response to the current drought emergency response (L-2).
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Kenya is facing severe drought resulting from three consecutive failed rainy seasons. The poor performance of the October–December Short rains season and late start of the March – May Long Rain season has resulted in an estimated 4.1 million people being food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance signalling a deterioration in food security compared to 2.8 million people that was identified in mid-short rains season assessment in December 2021. UNICEF has declared an L-2 Corporate Emergency in early April 2022 in response to the Horn of Africa Drought Emergency, including in Kenya.
The SMART survey carried out over the June - July 2022 period show a marked deterioration as compared to previous years with Garissa and Mandera recording the highest GAM rates on record. Seven (7) counties namely Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo and Turkana) are in Alarm drought phase while Nine (9) counties-Garissa, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Meru (North), Nyeri (Kieni) and West Pokot are in Alert drought phase. The remaining six (6) counties-Kajiado, Narok, Makueni, Tharaka Nithiand Embu (Mbeere) and Tana River are in Normal drought phase.
UNICEF actively participates in interagency coordination mechanisms, including the Kenya Humanitarian Partnership Team (KHPT). The current response is aligned with the geographic and programmatic prioritisation of the KHPT targeting the most affected areas of the country. UNICEF provides technical and financial support to counties’ departments of Health and supports sector coordination and leadership. UNICEF works closely with WHO to support the coordination of the Health sector.
How can you make a difference?
UNICEF is prioritizing the delivery of an integrated Nutrition/Health/WASH in the priority counties/sub-counties. UNICEF seeks to increase the coverage of the response, whilst maintaining the quality of the programme delivery, as well as the scope of the response. UNICEF is scaling up and improving the coverage of integrated Nutrition/Health/WASH outreach services in 7 counties (Turkana, Marsabit, Baringo, Mandera, Wajir, Tana River, Isiolo) with a package of life-saving health interventions to vulnerable children, women and men. An integrated package of life-saving health/nutrition services includes immunization, treatment of pneumonia, diarrhoea, health promotion/education, demonstration to community members participating in outreach services on household water treatment, nutrition screening and treatment, antenatal care and referral of complicated cases for specialized management in higher level health facilities, COVID-19 prevention and control messages.
UNICEF Kenya seeks an experienced Public Health in Emergencies to support the overall management and coordination of UNICEF Kenya’s health response to the current drought emergency response (L-2).
Main Responsibilities and Tasks
- Lead UNICEF internal risk analysis for health drought emergency response needs in Kenya, identifying capacity gaps and developing a plan to rapidly address them.
- Provide technical support to UNICEF and partners including contributing to the development of/ or sharing relevant standards, protocols, guidelines and training materials for health drought emergency response including Social Behaviour Change materials. Support training as needed.
- Contribute to UNICEF’s and the continuous revision of Kenya Health sector response strategy, work adjustments of plans, including contingency plans with other sectors to ensure cross sectoral response programming.
- Support and monitor surveillance and disease prevention and control efforts for other epidemic prone diseases (Measles, Yellow Fever and others) within the population with WHO and Health Sector partners and other sections. Share information for internal communication and external coordination as needed.
- Support UNICEF’s response in Health (in coordination with Nutrition, WASH team members) as part of the overall oversight to health sector coordination mechanism. Represent UNICEF in the Health and other sector coordination meetings as needed.
- Conduct joint field monitoring visits with relevant health sector partners or as necessary.
- Oversee emergency supply chain including pre-positioning in coordination with UNICEF Supply/Logistics staff to provide essential kits, drugs and commodities for drought response efforts to government and NGO partners
- Support UNICEF information products related to the response including monthly situation reports.
- In close consultation with the M&E team, contribute to the office M&E mechanism, including performing results tracking with uniform updated information.
- Help draft funding appeals, donor reports and project proposals related to the response
Reporting and work relationships
- The Public Health in Emergency (PHiE) Specialist, P4, will work under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Health section, with close working collaboration with the KCO Emergency Drought Response unit, including the Nutrition and WASH sections.
Minimum Qualifications and Competencies
- Advanced university degree in Public Health or related field with bachelor’s in health discipline (Medical Doctor, nursing or other relevant health discipline). Experience in epidemiology and disease control in emergency settings is desirable.
- A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible experience in planning and implementing health emergency programmes with either the UN, IO, and/or NGO.
- Experience in working for UNICEF in Health Emergency will be considered a strong asset.
- Fluency in English (verbal and written).
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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.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.