Helen Keller International (HKI) – Established in 1915, Helen Keller
International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most
vulnerable and disadvantaged.
We combat the causes and consequences of
blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence
and research in vision, health and nutrition. Headquartered in New York
City, HKI currently conducts programs in 22 countries in Africa and Asia
as well as in the United States.
HKI-NG has initiated number of projects in neglected tropical disease
(NTD) control, behaviour change communication for IYCF (SPRING project)
and orange-fleshed sweet potato (Reaching Agents of Change). In 2013,
HKI obtained a grant from DFID through UNITED Consortium to implement an
integrated NTDs (LF, Trachoma, STH and Schisto) elimination in Katsina
We are recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: Consultant to oversee NTD BCC Activities in DFID – United Supported States in Nigeria
Invitation to Consultant: 18/04/2016
Sign contract by Consultant: 19/04/2016
Start work: 20/04/2016
UNITED consortium is a DFID funded four-year programme for the
integrated control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Northern
Nigeria (UNITED). The programme is led by Sightsavers in consortium with
Non-Governmental Development Organisations (NGDOs), academic partners,
private sector partners and private sector suppliers.
The main partners are Sightsavers, Helen Keller International (HKI),
Christoffel Blinden mission (CBM), Mission to Save the Helpless
(MITOSATH), Crown Agents, Health Partners International (HPI) and
Accenture Development Partners (ADP). The key stakeholders are the
Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the State Ministries of Health
(SMOHs) in the five programme States.
The program’s goal is to reduce the prevalence and interrupt the
transmission of seven NTDs that are amenable to preventive chemotherapy.
Its aim is to strengthen the health system including drug supply chain
management to deliver drugs to those in need. The programme is being
implemented in the five states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger and
- Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of infectious parasitic
and bacterial diseases that cause substantial illness and are a source
of tremendous suffering because of their disfiguring, debilitating, and
sometimes deadly impact.
- They are called neglected because they affect the poorest, most
marginalized communities and have been largely wiped out in the more
developed parts of the world.
- Affecting the world’s poorest people, NTDs impair physical and
cognitive development, contribute to mother and child illness and death,
and limit productivity in the workplace. In addition to causing
physical and emotional suffering, social stigma is a major consequence
- The loss of productivity results in children out of school, and
prevents families and communities from thriving, trapping the poor in a
cycle of poverty and disease.
- Although safe and cost-effective interventions for prevention
and elimination are available, these diseases have continued to cause
immense suffering and often life-long disabilities for the rural poor
due to neglect.
- The effort towards the elimination of NTDs is being spearheaded
by the Federal Ministry of Health along with development partners and
- Globally, Nigeria is ranked the third highest with LF disease
burden. Lymphatic Filariasis is caused by thread-like parasitic worms:
Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi and Brugia timori and transmitted
through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
- The adult lives 5-6 years in lymphatic vessels producing
millions of microfilariae (mf). LF is mostly acquired in childhood but
remains silent for a long time after infection.
- Acute manifestation of LF during the early stage includes general symptoms such as fever, chills, headache and weakness.
- However, acute episodes of local inflammation involving skin,
lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels often accompany the chronic
lymphoedema or elephantiasis 4. Lymphoedema (tissue swelling)
elephantiasis (skin/tissue thickening) is more frequent in the legs but
can also affect breast, genitals and arms.
- Onchocerciasis is a skin and eye disease caused by a filarial
parasite Onchocera volvulus. It is transmitted by a small black fly,
Simulium species, which breeds in well oxygenated water such as fast
flowing rivers, streams and dams. The risk of blindness is higher for
patients living close to these water bodies.
- The signs and symptoms of onchocerciasis are usually caused by
the mf and not by the adult worm. Most common symptom is itching, which
is caused by the body’s reaction to mf dying in the skin. The itching
continues and leads to skin changes: leopard skin (de-pigmented spots),
atrophy, hanging groin and genitals. Large and disfiguring subcutaneous
skin nodules are formed by adult worms.
- As the number of mf in the body increases, they find their way
to the eyes, eventually causing inflammation, tissue damage and
scarring. This leads to gradual loss of vision and eventually to
irreversible blindness, often as early as the age of thirty-five.
- The life cycle of onchocerciasis involves infected black flies
spreading worm larvae through bites on the skin. The larvae enter the
body at the bite site, form subcutaneous nodules under the skin
(approximately 2 years), and mature into adult worms that have a life
span of over 15 years. Female worms release millions of microfilaria
(mf) into the body which eventually die and lead complications.
- Trachoma is an ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis and
is a major cause of blindness worldwide. Within endemic countries,
trachoma is found in areas that are rural, economically underdeveloped,
without good water supply and with large numbers of eye-seeking flies.
- Disruption of the infection cycle of trachoma can be effected by
antibiotics, regular cleaning of faces and improved hygiene and
environmental improvements including water, proper domestic waste
management and avoiding animal proximity to the household.
- Trachoma infection often starts in children and with repeated
infections scarring and deformity of the eyelid. This eyelid deformity
leads to in-turned eye lashes or trichiasis which may rub on the
eyeball, causing pain redness and eventually blindness.
- The SAFE strategy developed by WHO is an approach for treatment,
prevention and elimination of trachoma. It involves surgery, to
corrective trichiasis, antibiotic use to treat active infection, facial
cleanliness to remove eye discharge and discourage eye-seeking flies,
and environmental improvements like water provision and proper disposal
of faecal waste in latrines.
- Nigeria also has the highest burden of Schistosomiasis in
Africa. Three types of this worm cause human schistosomiasis, two of
which occur in Nigeria.
- Transmission of schistosomiasis is by urine and faecal
contamination of fresh water bodies and is facilitated by poor hygiene
- Schistosomiasis mostly affects poor and rural communities,
particularly agricultural and fishing populations and women doing
domestic chores in infested water, such as washing clothes, are also at
risk 5. It is usually geographically confined, although communicable,
strictly linked to the environment and has a complex reproductive cycle.
- Transmission of Schistosomiasis can be disrupted through the use
of drugs to treat infected individuals, sanitation, and provision of
safe water and use of molluscide, health education, and behaviour change
including avoiding infected water.
- These are S. haematobium which causes urinary Schistosomiasis
and S. mansoni that causes intestinal Schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis
can cause diseases such as cancer of the bladder, anaemia, liver
- In Nigeria, Schistosomiasis is a disease of considerable and
growing concern due to inadequate potable water and activities related
to water resource development schemes such as irrigation, fishing and
hydro-electricity. Generally, the disease mainly affects rural poor and
vulnerable age groups like school children.
Purpose of the BCC Program
The purpose of this NTD BCC program is:
- To develop and implement a strategic framework to identify and prioritize key NTD issues in need of BCC intervention
- To implement BCC strategy that will positively impact on
prevention and treatment and eventual elimination of the 5 prioritized
NTDs (LF, Trachoma, STH, Oncho and Schisto) in UNITED consortium states
(Kano, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara)
- To track the implementation of the BCC strategy using a
monitoring checklist and report relevant road map towards improvement in
uptake of NTD drugs in all the communities
- To offer solutions towards addressing key issues of knowledge, attitude and practice in relation to NTDs
- To Change misconceptions and identify state specific channels of effective communication
- To Draw up BCC implementation and action plans
Scope of Work
HKI Nigeria requires the services of a consultant to perform the following tasks:
- Coordinate the implementation of BCC activities by the BCC
sub-committees in DFID / UNITED states (Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Niger
and Kaduna states)
- Design and implement a BCC strategy with specified work plan, checklist and timelines (See copy of checklist herewith attached)
- Ensure the establishment of state BCC subcommittee within the states NTD task force leading towards state ownership of the BCC
- Conduct FGD or KIM and other methods in NTD endemic communities
to understand the perception of the public towards IEC materials, radio
jingles, and health education messages. This is with the view to advice
on best practice to get the donated drug in the mouth of the persons at
risk or affected by NTD
- Provide supportive but technical BCC advice to states advocacy
team and states NTD task force that will foster ownership and wider
acceptance of NTD drugs
- Any relevant TOR that will make BCC activities effective in UNITED supported states.
- The Consultant is to monitor the implementation of BCC activities according to agreed timelines in 5 DFID supported states
- Submit periodic and final reports after implementation of the
BCC strategy to HKI in accordance with the timelines specified in this
- Supervise and monitor the implementation of BCC by each BCC
subcommittee within the context of NTD task force in each state leading
to wider acceptance of the mass drug administration and in the long run,
good therapeutic and geographic coverages
- Conduct pre MDA, in-process and end process assessment of the
MDA activities in DFID UNITED supported states and submit report for
onward sharing with stakeholders
- Identify peculiarities for each state in terms of BCC activities that produce best results
- Hold meetings with chairman of state NTD task force and share
BCC strategy; thus leading to full state-drive of the BCC activities
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV’s and a proposal either in hard copy format; addressed to:
The Admin Coordinator
Helen Keller International Nigeria,
6 Angola Street,
Wuse Zone 2,
Or electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline 7th April, 2016.