National consultant for the Mercury Elimination from Health Facilities Project


The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force in 2017. The Convention covers a range of issues associated with mercury production, use, waste, and disposal, providing a list of uses in which the manufacture, import, and export are restricted, and applicable phase-out dates or reduction targets. The phase-out date for the manufacture, import, and export of mercury-containing sphygmomanometers and thermometers was 2020, subject to a one-time extension. India has obtained requested such an exemption for the manufacture of mercury-added sphygmomanometers and thermometers among other devices until 2025. The Convention does not apply to mercury-containing medical devices already in use.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with ministries of health to support the development of national health system-wide strategies to phase out the manufacture, import, and export of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers used in health care, in Albania, Burkina Faso, India, Montenegro, and Uganda; and in three of these countries, this will involve practical demonstration of the switch to mercury-free alternatives.

A five-year project is being prepared for implementation over the period 2022-2026. The five-year project will involve the following 4 components.

  1. Component 1: Development and implementation of national health-system-wide strategies for phasing out the import, export, and manufacture of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in line with WHO recommendations and related provisions of the Minamata Convention.
  2. Component 2: Implementation of national strategies to phase out manufacture, import, and export in all project countries, and demonstrations of a phase-out in use in at least 3 countries.
  3. Component 3: Knowledge management
  4. Component 4: Project results are available nationally and shared with other countries participating in this project, and globally.

An expert or experts are needed to assist the WHO in completing a pre-project phase during July August 2021. This phase is referred to as the Project Preparation Grant (PPG) phase and will involve the collection of specific data to allow the completion of a detailed project plan for the 5-year project.

Specifically, WHO is seeking to contract a Development Expert(s) to carry out a desk study on mercury-added medical measuring devices in [country] and develop a stakeholder engagement strategy for the full project. Information from the study of the medical device will be used to better calculate the global environmental benefits expected from the project. The Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will set the ground to enable effective stakeholder engagement during the full 5-year project.

Provision of:
1) A medical devices study focusing on the use of thermometers and sphygmomanometers in [country] in order to estimate the global environmental benefits of a phase-out of mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers and to identify and assess measures needed to enable the phase-out of import and use of mercury containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers in [country].
2) A stakeholder engagement study to set a solid ground-work for a subsequent 5-year project aimed at developing and implementing national health-system-wide strategies for phasing-out the import and use of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in line with WHO recommendations and related provisions of the Minamata Convention.


  1. Prepare a medical devices summary report 3,000–5,000 words (using the outline provided) on thermometers and sphygmomanometers to include:
    • A preliminary inventory on the use of both mercury-containing and non-mercury containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers in [country] following a protocol provided by WHO
    • A market survey in [country] to ensure an adequate supply of alternative (non-mercury) medical measuring devices is available;
    • A summary of the ability and propensity of the shift to mercury-free alternatives, the burden of cost, the prospective benefits received by shifting and by not shifting, and the profit margins;
    • An understanding of the attitude and perception of stakeholders regarding a phase-down and replacement of mercury by non-mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers and a description of procurement policies;
    • Proposed activities that should be included in the 5-year project;

  2. Prepare a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy for [country] for the full-sized project. The Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will reflect and describe actions including, at the minimum:
    • the critical decision-makers and their personas to understand their roles and importance such as their relevant interests, and why they are included;
    • a map of stakeholders across the value chain of mercury-added medical devices;
    • the regulations and regulating authorities to assess the need for change and implementation support;
    • the steps and actions needed to achieve meaningful consultation and inclusive participation, including information dissemination;
    • roles and responsibilities for the implementation of the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy in the full-sized project;
    • the timing of the engagement throughout the 5-year project cycle;
    • a proposed budget for stakeholder engagement throughout the full-project where applicable, for related capacity-building to support this engagement;
    • key indicators of stakeholder engagement during the full project implementation, and steps that will be taken to monitor and report on progress and issues that arise.
    The expert(s) will contact stakeholders to collect relevant information on the [country]-specific situations based on the estimated burden of mercury medical measuring devices in use in both private and public healthcare sectors and take into account any information contained in [country’s] Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) if available; information from previous studies. Information will also be sought about procurement possibilities for non-mercury devices; the amount of existing mercury-containing waste that requires safe and environmentally sound interim storage; and how best to disseminate information to other stakeholders, including the broader healthcare community.


Required: Advanced degree in a biomedical or related field.
Desired: Advanced degree in Environmental Sciences and/or Public Health, expertise in health facility management/procurement.

Work experience: Minimum 7 years of experience in Biomedical Engineering, Public Health, procurement, and logistics in healthcare or related area. Research and data analysis experience. Knowledge of medical measuring devices and relevant stakeholders in country.

Language: Proficiency in English required, including writing.

Other skills:

• Excellent report writing and project management skills
• Proven ability in developing Stakeholder Engagement Strategies, particularly in a Ugandan context
• Proven ability to coordinate with multi-disciplinary experts
• Track-record of delivering multi-disciplinary research/assessments on time to a high quality.
• Proven ability to conduct situation assessment for Uganda
• Proven capacity to interpret Minamata Convention provisions into the [country] context
• Proven ability to coordinate with private and public sector representatives, including health and environment ministries
• 50% on the deliverable of draft medical devices study and draft stakeholder engagement study plus an interim invoice on or before 15 July 2021

• 50% on the deliverable of the outline of the phase-out demonstration project and all remaining deliverables plus a final invoice, on or before 15 August 2021

The experts will provide a fortnightly progress report throughout the duration of the project.

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