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Analytical summary - General country health policies

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Overview of major policy reforms The Namibia health and social services sector since independence was guided by the Policy Statement of 1990 and the 1998 Policy Framework. The National Health Policy Framework 2010-2020 was developed to keep pace with changes in the health sector and is aligned to the National Development Plan 3, the Ministry of Health and Social Services Strategic Plan 2009–2013, and the Millennium Development Goals. (MoHSS, July 2010)

The main reform initiatives that have taken place since independence include the restructuring and re-orientation of the health sector in line with the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach; the shift in orientation of social services from curative and remedial social work to a developmental approach with emphasis on prevention of social ills and empowerment of individuals, groups, and communities; the performance improvement of the civil service through the establishment of the Wages and Salaries Commission (WASCOM) and the introduction of the Public Service Charter; the broadening of health financing options through the introduction of user-fees policy at all facilities; and the introduction of the principle of managed competition in the area of buying-in support services. (MoHSS, 2008)

Public health policies

  • Community Based Health Care 2007 (draft)
  • Mental Health Policy 2005/06
  • National Blood Policy (2007)
  • National Malaria Policy (1995)
  • Integrated Health Care Delivery: The Challenge of Implementation. A Situation Analysis and Practical *Implementation Guide (Otjiwarongo Document) (undated)
  • Family Planning Policy (1995)
  • National Policy and Strategy for Malaria Control (1995)
  • Infant and Young Child Feeding (2003)
  • National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTCP) Policy Document (undated)
  • National Policy for Reproductive Health (2001)

Health system policies

  • The Patient Charter of Namibia (1998)
  • Transport Policy, MOHSS (2000)
  • Research Management Policy (2003)
  • Fellowship Management Policy
  • National Drug Policy for Namibia (undated)
  • National Health Policy Framework (2010)
  • Waste Management Policy (2010)
  • Policies in other sectors and intersectoral policies
  • Namibia OVC Policy (undated)
  • Food and Nutrition Policy for Namibia (1995)

Priorities and ways forward Among the policies that need to be updated is the Public Health Act (as the country is currently using that of 1919) to provide guidance for sanitation and hygiene, amongst others. Policies which need to be amended include the policy and guidelines on working hours of clinics. Policies which need to be developed include a clear national policy and strategy for health promotion and for behaviour change communication. (MoHSS, 2008)