Namibia launches new initiatives to strengthen healthcare

Niël Terblanché

Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, announced the launch of several vital healthcare initiatives aimed at improving healthcare accessibility, quality, and safety throughout Namibia.

The minister stressed the government’s commitment to continuously improving the healthcare system in Namibia. He outlined the need for adaptable tools, including policies, guidelines, and plans, to ensure that health workers can provide methodical and high-quality healthcare services as disease burdens evolve.

One of the key initiatives unveiled during the event in Windhoek last week was the National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anaesthesia Plan (NSOAP). The NSOAP addresses the challenges related to safe surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia services and is seen as a critical tool in improving emergency care and surgical services across the country.

With factors such as population growth and dispersed rural populations, there is an increased demand for equitable, high-quality emergency care and surgical services. The NSOAP is designed to address these demands and strengthen the overall healthcare system.

The NSOAP focuses on six essential healthcare domains, including surgical infrastructure, workforce, financing, and governance.

Shangula said the plan will be implemented in three phases, with the ultimate goal of integrating its initiatives and outcomes into the National Health Strategic Plan.

In addition to the NSOAP, the Ministry of Health and Social Services introduced revised guidelines for the Operation Theatre and Central Sterile Services Departments (CSSD). These guidelines aim to ensure the smooth functioning of healthcare facilities and the identification and management of risks.

The event also saw the launch of the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Action Plan. Given the significance of infection prevention in healthcare, this plan addresses the challenges associated with preventing and controlling Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs).

The IPC Action Plan incorporates evidence-based interventions, enhanced education and training for healthcare workers, improved surveillance systems, and monitoring and evaluation activities.

A representative of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) commended Namibia’s commitment to patient safety and highlighted the importance of these documents in maintaining quality healthcare.

The representative stressed the need for intentional actions and careful planning to ensure equal access to high-quality healthcare services across all regions.

The government of the United States of America reaffirmed its commitment to assisting Namibia in implementing these healthcare initiatives.

The initiatives and guidelines are expected to play a pivotal role in improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring the safety and well-being of patients and healthcare providers in Namibia.

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