Namibia has a generalized epidemic with HIV primarily transmitted through heterosexual means. The Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program, funded by USAID through PEPFAR, has made significant contributions in enabling the rapid scale up the ART through the strengthening of ART pharmaceutical systems in the country, including the country’s adoption of WHO guidelines to treat patients at CD4 350 T-cell levels with anti-retroviral (ART) medication as opposed to 200 or lower. Unfortunately the rapid scale up has resulted in critical need to strengthen health systems including relevant sustainable pharmaceutical services delivery systems. This scale up, coupled with the vastness of the country, the sparse population, the shortage of qualified pharmaceutical personnel, has put added stress on an already over-burdened work force and system.
SPS’s successor, SIAPS, is anticipating the need to support increased access of quality assured ART and other essential medicines to the remotest parts of the country.To accomplish this task, SIAPS is invoking a multi-faceted approach, identifying focus areas including the WHO Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) framework of service delivery, health workforce, information systems, financing, and leadership and governance. Within this strategy, SIAPS is practicing approaches of improving upon systems already in place and working with the people by integrating existing systems to maximize efficiency and supporting established action plans. The National Pharmaceutical Master Plan (NPMP), Partnership Framework, National Medicines Policy and National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS provide an over-arching vision under which SIAPS will help the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) monitor the NPMP progress and use results to achieve plan goals and objectives. SIAPS supported interventions will have national coverage, helping to address the challenge of the vastness and sparseness of Namibia.
SIAPS will work with MOHSS and all key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical service delivery to develop sustainable capacity for assuring the long-term availability of quality pharmaceutical products and effective pharmaceutical services to achieve desired health outcomes in public and private sectors in Namibia.