Improving Public Health and Nutrition in Namibia
Through a partnership with government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses, Synergos is strengthening Namibia’s public health system’s response to key national priorities around maternal and child health and nutrition.
Synergos has been working in Namibia since 2007. We bring together diverse resources, competencies and experiences from Namibia’s government, corporate, and the nonprofit sectors, as well as international agencies.
Maternal and infant mortality rates fell by about 15% between 2006 and 2013.
Other major accomplishments in our work with partners include:
- Increased collaboration and communication within the Ministry of Health and Social Services through a Leadership Development Forum for the ministry’s top tier of officials as well as through workshops and events at other levels of the health system
- A new infrastructure for communication and collaboration for child and maternal health at the regional level through creation of Regional Delivery Units
- Improved access to health services, including through provision of antenatal care (ANC) clinics in re-purposed shipping containers in both state and NGO-managed facilities and also through decentralization of ANC service from two hospitals to a larger number of clinics
- Increases in public education about and demand for maternal health services through radio drama shows
- Improvements in quality of care through in-service nurse training
- Reduced waiting times for ambulances in the city of Windhoek
- Upgraded maternal health information systems, which aligned several health information systems and cleared data entry backlogs.
Building upon this experience, in 2010 the Prime Minister created Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN) as an independent trust with Synergos as its secretariat.
NAFIN aims to:
- Reduce malnutrition and promote good nutrition for all Namibians, with a focus on women and children
- Raise the capacity of government agencies working in agriculture, health, education, gender, and child welfare to incorporate nutrition and household food security into their planning and programs.
NAFIN has been effective because it can mobilize cross-sectoral solutions to malnutrition. It includes participants from ten national ministries, as well from UN and bilateral agencies operating in Namibia, and representatives of Namibian businesses and nonprofit organizations. NAFIN is part of the UN-sponsored Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative.
Our work in Namibia is led by Namibian staff based in Windhoek.
- Whole-systems approach in Namibia (video)
- Moving Quickly on Emergencies in Namibia (video)
- Saving Mothers’ Lives in Namibia (video) from McKinsey & Company
- Namibian Health Authorities Tackle Maternal Mortality
- Reviving An Ambulance Service
- Initiative website - www.africanhealthleadership.org
The Synergos Institute
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