The Ministry of Health and Social Services in support by the World Health Organization hosted a team of external evaluators to determine Namibia’s readiness to prevent, detect, respond and manage major disease outbreaks.
Eleven (11) external evaluators from multiple disciplines formed part of the team. They are from the Academia; US Center for Diseases Control, United National Food and Agricultural Organization representing Finland, United States of America, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Monrovia, South Africa, Italy, Peru, and Ethiopia.
Namibia has initiated the platform because she is committed to comply with the International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements, by ensuring that appropriate capacities are in place to prevent, detect and adequately respond to any emergencies of public health concern.
Evaluation Area 1:
There is technical commitment with participation of some senior level personnel such as the deputy permanent secretary MoHSS, the former permanent secretary BUT this is mainly from the MOHSS and not the other sectors such as Agriculture, Environment, Wild life, port authorities and security agencies.
Legislation, policies and financing-several laws and policies exist to support the implementation of IHR (2005)
The IHR NFPs, OIE delegates have been identified and health emergency management committees have been established national, regional and districts level although there remain issues of OH coordination.
There is a robust laboratory system and network in both human and animal health, with Web-based laboratory result sharing at the Regional, the district hospitals and some HCs through Namibia Institute of Pathology-NIP.
Evaluation Area 2:
There is a real time surveillance system with indicator based and syndromic surveillance and some event based surveillance but there is limited data analysis and feedback
The ongoing investment in the education of health professionals is impressive. Namibia is investing in the future and that is really important. It will be key to offer those who graduate a clear career path in their own country.
There are MOUs with foreign academic institutions for Namibia HR capacity development in areas where the country lacks the capacity and the FETP programme is established.
Evaluation Area 3:
On zoonosis and One Health, Namibia has well organised veterinary services and zoonotic surveillance system with qualified staff at all three levels and in-country training for veterinary professionals and para-professionals.
There is a complimentary well established human health sector utilising the IDSR for reporting diseases, including zoonoses.
Rabies eradication program has been initiated as a pilot in one of the district and there is planned for expansion to the whole country
Risk communication utilizes a great variety of messaging channels and engages the community at all levels
Through the WHO Governing Bodies, Consequent to the Assessment, the Government will develop an action plan to address the major challenges and gaps with the aim of strengthening its capacity to prevent and manage disease outbreaks.