Historically, Namibia has often struggled with shortages of pharmaceutical personnel due to a reliance on a foreign-trained workforce. Before SIAPS started working in the country in 2011, approximately 90% of pharmacist positions were filled by non-Namibians working on short-term contracts. Today, the situation is dramatically different — Namibian workers now staff 76% of all public sector pharmacist posts in Namibia.
Change began with strong local commitments from the University of Namibia’s School of Pharmacy (UNAM-SoP) and the National Health Training Center (NHTC) of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS). SIAPS, in close collaboration with these key local partners, supported a wide range of capacity building initiatives in Namibia to lead to this change. SIAPS helped to build the pharmaceutical workforce, establish the country’s first school of pharmacy and its curriculum, and helped to strengthen pharmaceutical care for HIV services.
Change didn’t happen overnight. The evolution of Namibia’s pharmacy sector and workforce took strategic, intentional, and well-coordinated steps, whose foundation was laid down by predecessor projects such as Rational Pharmaceutical Management Plus and Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems. This technical brief describes SIAPS’ holistic approach to strengthening human resource capacity in Namibia, particularly by enhancing local pharmaceutical training and building individual and institutional capacity.
Project Director – SIAPS/SCMS Namibia