WINDHOEK – While it is important for Namibia to secure additional funding for health in order to meet its goals and sustain its health response, it is equally important to ensure that these resources are managed effectively, said the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula.
“Efficiency and effectiveness can be improved by reducing wasted resources, removing bottlenecks and streamlining service delivery processes,” said Shangula, who made the remarks at the conference. launch of the report titled “The Health Financing Landscape and HIV in Namibia: Evidence from 2015 / Resource Tracking Exercises 16 and 2016/17”.
Among other things, the report shows that the balance of spending between primary health care facilities and secondary and tertiary facilities should be explored. The report also points out that spending on prevention services relative to overall public spending is quite low.
Shangula explained that the 2015/16 and 2016/17 resource tracking exercise used a methodology that combined health accounts estimates and national AIDS expenditure assessment.
“The findings provide essential information on the health financing landscape in Namibia. This information is essential for strategic decision making within the Department of Health and Human Services and by other stakeholders, ”said Shangula. He also said the government prioritizes health care.
“This is corroborated by the fact that the government makes the largest contribution to health spending amounting to 56% in 2015/16 and 63% in 2016/17,” the minister said.
Shangula also spoke of the country’s disease burden, saying it is slowly shifting from communicable to non-communicable diseases.
Communicable diseases are transmitted from person to person, by wind, water, directly or indirectly, and are highly contagious. Noncommunicable diseases are not spread and are not contagious, but are due to allergy, long illness, abnormalities in cell proliferation, hereditary and malnutrition.
“The results show that donor support for reproductive health and noncommunicable diseases is limited. It requires more government funding, ”Shangula said.
Commenting on the same report, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country, said several issues and recommendations raised in the report need to be reflected in government policies and plans. . He said more than half of health spending in Namibia provided by the government demonstrates a strong commitment to health.
“However, in the future, it is important to understand whether this health expenditure in the required scope of health services is effective and equitable for the whole population. We need to understand to what extent these are unmet health needs and where spending does not reach those who need it most and those who underutilize health services due to financial and other barriers. to access it, ”said Sagoe-Moses.