Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a group of 607 small islands, 65 of which are inhabited, located in the Micronesian region of the Pacific. FSM is divided into four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, which are spread over approximately 3 million km. FSM had a population of 105,000 as of 2016. The population is relatively young (with 35 per cent below 15 years), but out-migration and a reduction in fertility rates have recently led to a decline in the proportion of individuals aged 0–19 years old. A large proportion of FSM’s population lives in Chuuk State (47 per cent) and Pohnpei (35 per cent). A total of 77 per cent lives in rural areas. FSM is highly prone to disaster and climate risks, including tropical cyclones and droughts. FSM is one of a number of PICs that is in a Compact of Free Association with the United States of America (US).
Child mortality rates in FSM have been declining over the past few decades. However, FSM has not yet been able to meet international child mortality reduction targets of < 25 by 2030, and it has among the highest child mortality rates in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) group. Most child deaths are due to congenital disorders, pneumonia, prematurity and complications during delivery (WHO and MCEE, 2018).
The maternal mortality ratio stands at 70 deaths per 100,000 live births, which is still above the SDG target. The infant mortality rate (IMR) decreased from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1996 to 10.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010, however more recent estimates put this at 16.5 deaths per 1,000 live births (2017). Known deaths are primarily those reported by hospitals, so figures are not entirely accurate as infant deaths in the outer islands are not consistently reported. The IMR remains higher than the regional goal of reducing newborn mortality to less than 10 by 2020. A total of 80 per cent of pregnant women make at least one antenatal visit; however, only 19 per cent do so during their first trimester.
Maternal and child nutrition are significant problems in FSM. As of 2012, 25 per cent of children aged 2–5 years had a body mass index greater than the 85th percentile (Partnership for MNCH and UNICEF, 2013). Information on childhood wasting and stunting is not available, which represents a significant data gap. Anaemia rates are high among pregnant women (38 per cent) and pre-school children (19 per cent) – significantly higher than the regional averages. Obesity and associated non-communicable diseases are a significant public health concern for FSM’s adult population, especially women. As of 2013, 84.2 per cent of women ≥ 20 years of age were estimated to be either overweight or obese (Lancet, 2014). The transition from traditional nutrient-rich diets to the consumption of imported high-calorie, low-nutrient foods (mostly processed foods high in free sugar, salt and fat) is a significant factor in rising levels of obesity.
As a response to the high levels of all types of malnutrition (anaemia, obesity and potentially also stunting), FSM is currently formulating framework of High Impact Nutrition Interventions, which is ongoing and aimed to finalized by early next year, to be followed by development of training materials to train health workers.
How can you make a difference?
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with the support of UNICEF, the Federated States of Micronesia has developed a COVID-19 contingency plan, which outlines a whole-of-government approach to mitigate the impact expected from COVID-19. The COVID-19 Contingency Plan describes in detail the different response measures that will be implemented throughout the outbreak and recovery. The plan provides a standardized framework for FSM (National and States) in its response to the COVID-19; provides technical information and guidance for coordinated efforts of all levels in Government in collaboration with stakeholders to minimize the impact of COVID-19; in terms of serious illness or overall deaths, and to minimize social disruption and economic losses, and assist States and health care systems with preparedness and response planning at different phases of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to ensure optimal medical care and to maintain continuity in provision of other essential community services. Travel restrictions and lock downs have brought about an urgent need for UNICEF to strengthen it’s presence in the office through recruitment of national technical expertise for sustainability and continuity of the momentum that has been gained.
UNICEF pacific is seeking a qualified and skilled national consultant of FSM to support the UNICEF team and the Department of Health in FSM with management and administration in the development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Health & Nutrition programmes in the context of child survival and development within the country programme.
Scope of Work
The consultant will support the International Maternal and Child Health Specialist in provision of effective technical leadership, management guidance and programme support to facilitate the application and adaptation of UNICEF policies and strategies to achieve programme goals and expansion of UNICEF assisted Health & Nutrition interventions in all 4 States in the FSM. The specific activities include, but are not limited to:
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have