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Consultant to Conduct a Situational Analysis of Oral Health Services in Zimbabwe
Deadline: 17 September 2021
Oral diseases contribute significantly to the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) globally and regionally. About half of the population globally and more than 480 million people in the WHO African Region suffered from oral diseases in 2019. Indeed, the African Region demonstrated its commitment to oral health, as evidenced by the adoption of the Regional Strategy on Oral Health 2016−2025: Addressing Oral Diseases as Part of NCDs at the 2016 Regional Committee.
In Zimbabwe, there has been a recent effort to concentrate on responding to the burden of NCDs in general and oral health in particular by coming up with a coordinated and integrated framework in the New National Health Strategy 2021-2025.
In terms of the oral health situation in Zimbabwe, the oral health department in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) over the years has not been reporting on critical information for supporting decision making at several levels. The only data available is the register with the data points on dental conditions which, lumps all the conditions, and they are not disaggregated by age and sex. The two data points available are the number of attendances and the number of procedures.
According to the recent rapid epidemiological assessment among 12-year-old children at primary schools in Harare and Bikita district, a high prevalence of dental caries in both urban (59.5%) and rural (40.8%) were reported. However, it is not clear the current overall oral health situation including the burden of selected oral diseases and conditions, oral health-seeking behaviour and the oral health-related quality of life since the last national oral health survey was conducted in 1994.
The delivery of oral and dental health services in Zimbabwe and the provision of preventive models of care have not been properly and adequately defined at all levels of care, with the absence of a national oral health policy, comprehensive guidelines and protocols among the key deficiencies. The lack of these strategic documents has negatively affected the provision of promotive, educative, preventive, curative and rehabilitative oral and dental health services to the general public. To address these challenges, it is necessary to conduct a rapid assessment to understand and appreciate the precise burden of oral diseases in Zimbabwe.
Purpose of this position
The incumbent will support the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support the initial stage of development of oral health policy/strategy in Zimbabwe by 1) leading establishment of the technical working group (TWG), 2) organizing the kick off meeting to identify the goal of the activity and reach consensus on key milestones to develop oral health policy/strategy, 3) conduct the rapid/needs assessment to define core/optional indicators which are required to understand the oral health situation in Zimbabwe and 4) develop the protocol to collect data and funding proposal for data collection.
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