WHO - World Health Organization

Consultant – Primary Health Care, occupied Palestinian territory

Job Overview


Primary Health Care

( 2104216 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 3 months

Job Posting: Sep 2, 2021, 11:12:48 AM

To provide technical support to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in oPt to:

  • Scale up the implementation of EENC in Caesarean sections and late pre-term and LBW babies in Gaza in the main MOH hospitals (5 hospitals).
  • Introduce primary health care (PHC) quality improvement approach in PHC facilities in Gaza (Child Health).

2. Background

In Palestine, where the neonatal mortality rate is 9,4 deaths per 1000 live births, neonatal deaths account for two thirds (66%) of deaths in children under the age of five (14,2/1000). In the West Bank, according to the most recently published findings, the neonatal mortality is higher than in Gaza

for the first time ever – and has not significatively improved over the past decade. One half of neonatal deaths occurs in the first day of life, mainly from complications related to prematurity, birth asphyxia, and infection, as well as birth defects.

Additional deaths can be prevented through simple actions for prevention and care of preterm, low-birthweight babies and sick newborns. The focus of attention needs to include not just the time after birth, but also the time during labour and delivery, even where a high proportion of births are attended by skilled health professionals.

Health workers often use outdated and harmful clinical practices during and after delivery which increases risk for newborn morbidity and mortality. The risk of death associated with caesarean sections (CS) was found to be six times higher than the risk associated with normal delivery.

The 2017 Palestinian Every Newborn Action Plan aims is to improve the quality of care at health facilities

where 99,9% of all deliveries occur

using early essential newborn care (EENC). EENC involves coaching of health facility staff on appropriate childbirth and immediate newborn care practices using adult learning methodologies. Other focus areas are policies, reorganization of workspaces, health worker roles, sequencing of tasks, and availability of supplies and equipment.

In Gaza, EENC policies, clinical protocols and methods have been scaled up since 2017 in the main public and NGO hospitals (covering about 85% of total births) with now widespread adoption of core EENC practices for term babies in vaginal deliveries and recently also in CS. Significant improvements were documented in Gaza on key coverage indicators like % of babies receiving skin-to-skin (STS) contact, and early and exclusive breastfeeding. Steady improvement in practices for both mother and newborns thanks to EENC at most government and NGO maternity hospitals in recent years has been well documented. The recently published findings on neonatal mortality show a significant reduction of neonatal mortality in Gaza, which seem to suggest the positive impact of EENC.

Introduction of EENC for CS was introduced in one Gaza hospital in 2019. Most preterm babies, even when stable, are routinely separated and referred to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) for observation, exposing them to risks of infection, hypothermia and bottle feeding. Therefore, EENC activities shall focus on childbirth care in CS and on care for preterm and low birthweight babies.

Annual Implementation Review (AIR) and Planning Guide, is the first EENC module and is used at the national and subnational levels to collect data for the development of annual implementation plans and five-year national action plans. AIR is essential for evaluating the quality of maternal, delivery and postnatal care in facilities.

In Gaza, AIRs are supposed to be conducted twice a year by the EENC national coordination team, consisting of 7 EENC facilitators. The EENC team is responsible for AIR data collection, entry, verification, and analysis.

Also, MOH established an EENC online quality assessment platform to facilitate access to key data for decision making on maternal and child health care service delivery at health facility level, using standardized indicators on issues such as preterm or low birth weight babies.

In addition, MOH jointly with partners is in the process of reviewing and adapting PHC quality assessment tools, for identification of gaps and needs for scale-up at the PHC level.

3. Planned timelines (subject to confirmation)

Start date: 12 September 2021

End date: 31 December 2021

See the proposed implementation plan below.

4. Work to be performed

  • EENC around time of birth

Output 1: Advice the MOH and hospital managers on scaling up EENC with Caesarean section (4 MOH hospitals)

Deliverable 1.1. Follow up hospital plans for introduction and scale-up and support clinical coaching

Deliverable 1.2. Analyze and report on data from CS-focused annual implementation review.

Output 2 . Advice MOH and hospital managers on scaling up of EENC of late pre-term and LBW babies

Deliverable 2.1. Follow up study recommendations and implementation of review methods

Deliverable 2.2. Analyze and report on data from Preterm/LBW-focused annual implementation review

O utput 3 : Technical support to the MOH and IT department for management of AIR data and existing routine e-data

Deliverable 2.1. AIR report including new “mini-AIR” and CS and preterm and low birthweight-focused data analysis and reporting

Deliverable 2.2. Report on newborn routine e-data 2021 and trends

b. Primary Health Care

Output 3: Technical support to the MOH and UNRWA to introduce PHC assessment, planning and quality improvement approach in PHC facilities (Child Health)

Deliverable 3.1. Child health- Review, update and adapt local guidelines with local review team

Deliverable 3.2. assist in coaching PHC teams in the approach for assessment and planning to improve quality of PHC services

Deliverable 3.2 follow up assessment, reporting and planning approaches to address gaps

5. Specific requirements

Qualifications required:

  • Medical degree
  • Masters or PHD in Public health or other relevant area.

Experience required:

  • 5 to 10 years years of experience in developing country settings
  • 5 to 10 years of practical experience supporting country and health facility level planning, implementation, scale up, monitoring and evaluation of maternal, newborn and child health programmes

Desirable: Working experience in West Bank and Gaza or middle eastern countries.

Skills / Technical skills and knowledge:

  • Expertise in the gathering, analysis and use of epidemiological data – particularly in the area of maternal, newborn and child health
  • High level technical skill in core areas such as programme planning, management, monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience in planning and facilitation of meetings and workshops; writing and development of tools, methods and guidelines; publications in RMNCH topic areas; and advocacy and discussions with senior country staff about programme financing, policy and advocacy.

Language requirements:

  • English language; expert level required for reading

    writing – speaking


  • Communicating in a credible and effective way
  • Producing results
  • Ensuring effective use of resources
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Moving forward in a changing environment

6. Place of assignment

a. Remote support: review and development of reports, policies, guidelines; data analysis and reporting; technical backup and follow up on technical issues.

b. Field work in Gaza: visits to hospitals and PHCs; observations and interviews with mothers and staff; observations of clinical practice and of facility systems; facilitation of review meetings and planning; clinical coaching in delivery room and surgical theatre settings and PHCs.

In case travel will not be possible, remote support will replace field visits. In this case, methods and tools will be developed accordingly, to allow replacing remote activities to be effective.

7. Medical clearance

The selected Consultant will be expected to provide a medical certificate of fitness for work.

8. Travel

All travel arrangements will be made by WHO – WHO will not be responsible for tickets purchased by the Consultant without the express, prior authorization of WHO. While on mission under the terms of this consultancy, the Consultant will receive agreed subsistence allowance.

Visas requirements: it is the consultant’s responsibility to fulfil visa requirements and ask for visa support letter(s) if needed.

More Information

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