Merlin Nutrition Officer - Lodwar - Turkana County

Position: Nutrition Officer

Functionally Responsible To: Project lead MNCH, family planning and nutrition

Technically Responsible To: Nutrition Coordinator; Project health coordinator  

Working With: Kenyan Ministry of Health authorities at district level and Health Facility Staff, Merlin field team.

Location: Lodwar, Turkana County
Salary: Kshs 65,000 per month

Benefits: Insurance cover, 15% of Basic Salary as House Allowance, and annual leave entitlement of 24 days per annum at the completion of 12 months of continuous employment with Merlin.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be shortlisted on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date.

Merlin International Profile

Merlin is the only specialist UK charity which responds worldwide with vital health care and medical relief for vulnerable people caught up in natural disasters, conflict, disease and health system collapse. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.

Context and Background

Merlin has been working in Kenya since 1998.  Merlin is currently operational in two geographic regions: Nyanza Province and Turkana in western Kenya.

In addition to the country office in Nairobi, Merlin maintains offices in Kisii in Nyanza Province and Lodwar in Turkana.  Merlin is currently implementing three projects based in Kisii: two addressing HIV/AIDS and TB, and one aimed at reducing malaria incidence.

The overall objective of Merlin’s work in Kenya is to contribute to a reduction of health inequalities and to a reversal in the current downward trend in health related indicators.

Merlin does this by responding to emergency needs as well as continuing to build on lasting working relationships with communities and local partners; supporting the strengthening of the Kenyan health system; approaching health problems with innovative interventions; developing answers to key practical questions through operational research; and using the lessons learned at local levels to feed into national-level programming and planning.
The Purpose of the Job
The overall objective of the position is to develop, implement, monitor and report on all nutrition technical aspects of Merlin’s projects in assigned areas of Turkana. 

S/he will ensure that field staff and partners adhere to technical and standard protocols in nutrition. 

S/he will train and mentor staff as well as participate in nutrition assessments, surveys and proposal design processes.

S/he will be responsible for SFP/OTP activity reporting from field sites to district stakeholders and Merlin management.

The Nutrition Officer will work under the supervision of the project lead MNCH, family planning and nutrition and in close collaboration with the MOPHS authorities and staff at district and community level.

Main duties of the Nutrition Officer:
    Ensure the provision of IYCN services and distribution of micronutrients to children under five, pregnant and lactating women, along with promotion of exclusive breastfeeding
    Supervise, mentor and work in collaboration with the health workers implementing IYCN activities
    In collaboration with Nurses and other field Officers, organize the logistics for community outreaches
    Together with the project lead  ensure proper communication, coordination and harmonization of tools with the different stakeholders involved in food/nutrition activities (World Vision, DOL, IRC, SP, Oxfam GB, MSF, UNICEF)
    Ensure the spread of consistent messages about IYCF and maternal nutrition to nutrition programs providers and care givers across the targeted districts.
    Build the capacity of MOH and CSO staff on child feeding counselling services and participate in the training of community activists in IYCF.
    Participate in the training of health staff in the prevention and management of malnutrition
    Ensure the establishment of nutrition monitoring activities
    Participate in nutrition assessments, studies and surveys;
    To ensure correct data entry of all program components on a weekly basis.
    Analyse and compile the monthly nutrition report.
    Participate in weekly management staff meetings
    Contribute to proposal design and development
    Maintain monthly stocks of micronutrients  and prepare monthly consumption reports.
    In the absence of project lead or PHC, attend health and nutrition coordination meetings and all relevant meetings with stakeholders

    Degree or Diploma in Nutrition or related health field
    At least three years experience in supervising the implementation of nutrition programmes.
    Experience in the implementation of nutrition monitoring activities and IYCF promotion and management
    Experience of carrying out nutritional surveys at field level
    Fluent spoken & written English
    Excellent management and communications skills
    Previous supervisory experience
    Ability to write clear and concise reports
    Training and facilitation experience
    Computer skills, including MS Office and EPI-Info

To apply for this position
All applications including cover letter and cv should be sent to:

HR Department,
Merlin, Nairobi Office,
P.O Box 3350 – 00200, Nairobi, Kenya


Email to:

Application deadline is 5:00pm on Friday, 4th January 2013.

Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Data Protection

Please note that in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act, Merlin will hold and use personal information that you have given for the purpose of recruitment and employment.

This information can be stored in manual and/or electronic form.

This information may also be disclosed to third parties in accordance with the Data Protection Act. 

In cases where a job offer is conditional on ensuring that potential employees’ names do not appear on counter terrorism lists generated by the United Nations, European Union or the United States due to donor funding requirements, Merlin will use the information that you have given for checking that your name does not appear on these lists.


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