This assignment was undertaken at the request of the Management Sciences for
(MSH)/Rational Pharmaceutical Management (RPM) Plus Program to review the
Medicines Policy (NMP) of Namibia and related laws and regulations with the view
of proposing changes (if any) that would be entered into the revision of
Namibia’s National Pharmaceutical Master Plan (NPMP). The NMP and the
accompanying NPMP were introduced in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
In addition, MSH/RPM Plus was to provide guidance on the review of the Namibia
Treatment Manual for Health Workers and examine the possibility of developing
comprehensive standard treatment guidelines (STGs) for Namibia’s health sector.
1. Review of Pocket Treatment Manual for Health Workers (Pocket Manual):
The Namibia Pocket Treatment Manual for Health Workers was first published in
1996 and was
derived from the more extensive Treatment Manual for Clinics, which was
distributed in 1992. Its objective was to standardize treatment practices in the
particularly at the primary health care level. The manual has not been revised
introduction in 1996.
The Pocket Manual has been found to be an especially useful tool in clinical
practice for nurses.
However, there are various sections that require review as well as incorporation
treatment guidelines for malaria, antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, prevention of
transmission, tuberculosis, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, and new
In principle, review of the Pocket Manual should follow that of the Treatment
Clinics, as was done originally. This approach is confounded by the proposal to
comprehensive STGs, which may delay the revision of the Pocket Manual.
2. Desirability for Comprehensive Standard Treatment Guidelines:
There is general recognition of the need to develop comprehensive STGs for use
in both public
and private health sectors of Namibia. Advantages that support the observation
of the desirability
for comprehensive STGs include promotion of rational use of medicines, cost
improved quality of care, and a training and orientation tool for foreign
Suggestions were made as to the format, content, and the process of development.
observation was that the STGs should target both public and private sectors and
collaboration between these two sectors is important.
3. Review of the National Medicines Policy:
The current laws in Namibia regarding control of pharmaceuticals, professional
and the draft bill on traditional healers are comprehensive. Review of the major
elements of the
NMP and the laws related to the pharmaceutical sector raised some issues.