The goal of SIAPS in Namibia was to improve the quality and safety of pharmaceutical services to achieve sustained HIV epidemic control. Since 2012, SIAPS focused on interventions that increased the availability of quality antiretrovirals (ARVs), other essential medicines, and services to sustain more than 80% ART coverage of patients in need. SIAPS activities also contributed to ensuring patient safety through pharmacovigilance (PV) activities.
Consolidating SIAPS’ Five-Year Support to the Ministry of Health and Social Services for Strengthening Pharmacovigilance in Namibia
SIAPS recently transferred office equipment and household items—which the program had acquired during the previous USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems project, also implemented by MSH—to the Christian Family Centre (CFC) in Windhoek. The CFC is involved in ministry, education, and support to homeless Namibians. The USAID mission in Namibia selected it as a recipient of the […]
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 […]
Namibia faces a dual public health burden of HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). Critical to the treatment and management of these diseases is an effective workforce that can provide quality pharmaceutical services throughout the country. Pharmacists and pharmacist assistants (PAs) play critical roles in dispensing life-saving medications, monitoring patient health and progress, and educating both patients and other health professionals about proper medication use, storage, and dispensing practices. To meet the high demand for quality pharmaceutical services and to ensure that pharmacy personnel needs are being met, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program supported the Government of the Republic of Namibia in the long-term planning of pharmaceutical human resources and building the capacity of two local institutions to provide pre-service and in-service pharmaceutical management training.
Pharmaceutical and health program managers in Namibia’s public health sector now have a tool to more accurately monitor stock levels and availability of all pharmaceutical products at health facilities countrywide. This follows the launch of the Pharmaceutical Management Information Dashboard in Windhoek, on Thursday, June 23, 2016. Until recently, pharmacy personnel at the Ministry of […]
Pharmacist Assistants Alleviate the Shortage of Pharmacy Staff at Public Health Facilities in Namibia
The Omusati region of Namibia has the second-highest HIV prevalence in the country, standing at 17.4%—higher than the national average of 13.1 reported in 2013. Decreasing the HIV prevalence and improving pharmaceutical services for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Omusati—and the country as a whole—is therefore a goal of the Ministry of Health and Social Services […]
Post-Qualification Monitoring and Evaluation of Pharmacist Assistants Trained at the National Health Training Centre in Namibia
Namibia has a decentralized public health system with 14 administrative regions. It is challenged by a dual burden of HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) as well as by the persistent shortage of pharmaceutical personnel. Well-trained pharmacist assistants (PA) are central to ensuring that the correct medicines are available in sufficient quantities as well as for counseling patients on the proper use of medicines and monitoring patients’ adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and other treatments. The National Health Training Centre (NHTC) has conducted this first formal workplace assessment of PAs who have graduated from the institution since 2007 in response to support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for a series of systematic interventions to strengthen the capacity and quality of PA training. Broadly, the USAID-funded SIAPS program supported the NHTC to conduct a tracer study to inform strategies for improving the PA training program and its reaccreditation by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA). Specifically, the study assessed: the proportion of NHTC PA graduates who are working in a PA role; the PAs’ satisfaction with the training they received at the NHTC; employers’/supervisors’ satisfaction with the PAs’ services; and strengths and weaknesses of the PA training program. Stakeholders’ recommendations for improving the PA training program were also obtained.
This document provides a background and basic guidance to medicine use data collection to be undertaken by University of Namibia School of Pharmacy second-year students during their placement in rural health facilities.
In 2012, UNAM-SoP introduced 4-week placements at health facilities located in rural communities for pharmacy students as part of their practical training. This placement is meant to provide the students with hands-on experience on the provision of pharmaceutical services at these facilities. From the lessons learned from the students’ 2012 placement experience, UNAM, from 2013, included data collection on pharmaceutical-related indicators aimed at building students’ capacity to assess pharmaceutical service delivery at health facilities, to interact with other members of the health care team and patients, and obtain insights into the pharmaceutical management procedures. Through this exercise, students learn how to assess dispensing practices, including assessing client knowledge and satisfaction with information received about their medicines. These indicators are based on the global pharmaceutical management indicators developed by the World Health Organization (WHO)
The USAID-funded SIAPS program has been influential in designing Namibia’s approach to preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance including HIV drug resistance. Due to the rapid scale-up of ART services, Namibia has achieved high ART coverage of the HIV-positive population. Although it can be minimized, HIV drug resistance (HIV-DR) is anticipated to emerge among people […]
Sentinel Site Active Surveillance of the Safety of First-Line Antiretroviral Medicines in Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura Intermediate Hospital
In the Republic of Namibia, the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program receives funding from the US Government to provide technical guidance for the development and implementation of innovative strategies and programs to strengthen pharmaceutical systems in support of the HIV/AIDS program. SIAPS is collaborating with USAID/Namibia to ensure the availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes for the government of the Republic of Namibia.
The Therapeutics Information and Pharmacovigilance Centre (TIPC) is responsible for the promotion of the rational and safe use of medicines in Namibia. Officially launched in 2008 as part of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), it is the official centre for the provision of unbiased therapeutics information and pharmacovigilance services to health care professionals and the general public. The Centre became the 90th full member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Programme for International Drug Monitoring in 2008.
The SIAPS Program in Namibia supports the implementation of initiatives to improve treatment outcomes through strategies that promote pharmacovigilance at the health facility and community levels. Additionally, in collaboration with UW, SIAPS is providing technical guidance towards the implementation of medication risk management strategies at selected referral hospitals in Namibia. In FY12, SIAPS supported the initiation of prospective active surveillance of the safety of antiretroviral medicines at the Windhoek Central Hospital and the Katutura Intermediate Hospital. In FY13, SIAPS continued to provide technical assistance towards the implementation of prospective active surveillance of ARV medicines so that the collected data is managed accurately, and to ensure that the active surveillance system is a long-term and beneficial investment.