University of Washington School of Public Health

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Maternal and Child Health Educator - Peace Corps

Location: (Rwanda)
Full-time position
Closing Date: April 1, 2019
Job #13518
Posted: January 10, 2019
Description:
Rwanda has made enormous progress over the last twenty years in its economic, political and social development. Great strides have been made in maternal and child health in the last decade, in large part due to a strong commitment on the part of the Government of Rwanda to strengthen health systems, make quality services available, and introduce approximately 45,000 Community Health Workers. Despite significant gains, recent data still shows 38% of children under five years of age are stunted due to chronic malnutrition, resulting in increased mortality and morbidity, decreased educational achievement and lost productivity. 

The Government of Rwanda has requested the assistance of Peace Corps in developing the capacity of local health centers and community-based health workers to plan, coordinate, deliver, monitor and evaluate services in the areas of maternal and child health. Specifically there is a focus on hygiene, nutrition, and prevention of childhood diseases including malaria, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infections (ARI). The primary goal of the Maternal and Child Health Project is to increase the number of mothers/caregivers adopting practices that improve maternal and child health across the first 1,000 days of life. This project supports the Government of Rwanda’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 6 and reduce the number of children suffering from stunting and the resulting developmental disadvantages.

To accomplish this, Volunteers are assigned to community health centers (CHCs) in small Rwandan villages. Through the CHC, Volunteers work with their counterpart (head of the community health workers, nutritionist, and social worker), "titulaire" (supervisor), and community health workers on a broad range of public health initiatives including those aimed at improving maternal and child health outcomes. Volunteers work with expectant mothers, their children, and their families on a variety of interventions to ensure a healthy start to life for Rwandan children.

To conduct this work, they coordinate with their local colleagues on programs and educational initiatives to: 

• Improve maternal and child health and nutrition
• Support families to adopt improved hygiene and safe water practices at the household level 
• Encourage families to prevent and appropriately respond to childhood illnesses, such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, malaria and HIV.

Along with their primary work assignment, Volunteers are involved with school clubs, youth programs and extracurricular activities. Maternal and Child Health Volunteers integrate Peace Corps Rwanda’s Cross Sectoral Program Priorities into their health and secondary activities, which can include gender equity, HIV/AIDs, STI prevention, malaria mitigation and food security.

During Pre-Service Training, Maternal Child Health Volunteers will spend 11 weeks living with a local family and participate in training on technical, cross-cultural, language, medical, and safety and security aspects within the rural Rwandan context. Peace Corps staff will support you throughout PST and assess your progress to determine if you have successfully achieved competencies before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

 

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and one or more of the following criteria:

•BA/BS degree in any discipline;

•5 years professional work experience;

Desired Skills

The most competitive candidates will have:

•Master’s Degree in Public Health;

•Volunteer or work experience in a health related field (e.g. nutrition, hygiene, sexual education, contraception or family planning counseling; AIDS education and outreach); 

•Demonstrated capacity to develop and deliver instructional materials in both small and large group settings to a diverse range of individuals;

•Familiarity and comfort in clinical settings and working with infants, young children and mothers;

•Ability and desire to work in low-resource environment to assess needs and develop creative solutions

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