Namibia honours nurses as pillars of healthcare

Niël Terblanché

On the occasion of International Nurses’ Day, celebrated globally, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing, Namibia’s health sector leaders took the opportunity to commend the nation’s nurses for their dedication and pivotal role in healthcare.

Ben Nangombe, the executive director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, praised nurses as historical angels of the health sector, urging them to maintain their reputation through love, diligence, and care in their daily responsibilities.

During the event, which included a touching candle-lighting ceremony symbolising the nurses’ commitment to their profession, Nangombe pointed to the essential role every Namibian plays in transforming the health sector.

He stressed that the continued celebration of this day serves not just as a tribute but as a moment for reflection on the positive changes nurses can bring about for the country’s benefit.

Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Utjiua Muinjangue, speaking on behalf of the minister, Kalumbi Shangula, said the government remains committed to providing quality services in health facilities.

“This commitment is emphasised by significant investments in healthcare, which the ministry views as crucial for economic and societal benefits such as reduced mortality rates and increased life expectancy,” she said.

This year’s theme is “Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care” highlights the economic challenges within healthcare and the substantial impact nurses have on health outcomes.

Muinjangue said that the Ministry of Health has set aside considerable resources for healthcare workers’ advanced training and professional development.

“This initiative includes revising the Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines to incorporate current evidence, ensure quality care, and safeguard both healthcare workers and patients,” she added.

The deputy minister acknowledged the remarkable progress Namibia has made in areas such as HIV/AIDS management, maternal and newborn care, and malaria elimination.

Muinjangue attributed these achievements to the hard work and dedication of nurses and midwives.

She also reaffirmed its commitment to uplifting the nursing profession through necessary policy interventions and financial investments, ensuring that nurses can continue their vital work in the best conditions possible.

Elizabeth Hamwaanyena, the nurse manager at Katutura State Hospital, echoed the sentiment of support for nurses, emphasising that community backing is crucial for a healthy society.

She stated that nurses are the backbone of the health system, whose efforts need recognition and continuous support from the public and government alike.

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