Health and Nutrition

Child Health and Nutrition


Bridging Health System Gaps in Namibia

©UNICEFNamibia/2011/John Isaac

Strengthen health system capacity to provide services and links between national and community levels.

Children under five, pregnant women, postpartum mothers.

The Namibian government has made significant efforts to address HIV and AIDS, malaria and communicable diseases. Official estimates put per capita health expenditure at $108 in 2010, with significant private and donor spending topping up public health expenditures. These investments have started to pay off in the past decade. Malaria deaths were reduced by 88 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The country remains free of polio despite reported cases in neighboring

However, neonatal mortality declined only marginally, from 23 to 19 per 1,000 live births, between 2001 and 2011, and maternal mortality is at the same level as it was in 1995, 200 per 100,000 births (UNICEF/WHO estimates). In this context, it should be noted that only 1 per cent of the health budget is spent directly on maternal and child health services (medium-term expenditure framework 2013/2014 to 2015/2016, Ministry of Finance).

A review of the health sector revealed that the provision of health services marginally extends beyond health facilities and that HIV/AIDS continued to exert a considerable burden on the health system and communities.

Outreach services reach less than 1% of households and many children drop out of care, especially for multiple contact services. A review of coverage of high impact interventions shows wide variations from less than 15% for two dose vitamin A and children sleeping under insecticide treated nets to 95% first attendance at antenatal clinics.

Ten of 34 districts harbor 80% of unreached children. The establishment of health extension system in 2012 is helping in addressing coverage and in reaching those hard to reach and will assist in ensuring at least 90% coverage of all high impact interventions. The success of this intervention led the Namibian Government to allocate $18 million to roll out the initiative to an additional five regions in 2013-2014.

By the end of 2018, appropriate maternal and child health legislation, policies, strategic plans and budgets set up and implemented for maternal, adolescent, newborn and child health.

Indicator: Post Natal Care (PNC) coverage

Indicator: Number of regions with functioning government-funded Health Extension Worker system;

Indicator: National Coverage of DPT3I





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