NPHI Stories: Namibia Envisions a Robust National Public Health Institute
Namibia is taking steps to move the country toward better public health protection. CDC is supporting Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) to create a national public health institute (NPHI) able to combat the country’s high rate of HIV/AIDS, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCD), like road traffic crashes, hypertension, and diabetes, which are taking a large toll on public health.
MOHSS Deputy Minister Juliet Kavetuna opened a meeting of committed stakeholders to create a vision and to identify ways that would give the greatest impact by coordinating public health efforts. MOHSS and stakeholders agreed that integrated surveillance systems and data were critical to improving communicable disease control and to taking action against NCDs. MOHSS Director of Health Information and Research Directorate Mr. Puumue Katjiuanjo, says the group at the meeting was so cohesive that they moved “… like a pair of eyes toward a shared vision.”
The group also selected priority areas for NPHI capacity building efforts. Moving forward, CDC, MOHSS, and stakeholders will focus on the priorities to improve public health laboratory capacity, operational research, workforce development, health promotion and communications, and public-private partnership—creating a NPHI that robustly protects the Namibian people.