Health Ministry launches national surgical and infection action plans

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Health and Social Services, along with its regional and national partners, officially launched the National Surgical Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plan (NSOAP) in Windhoek on Thursday.

The ministry also unveiled the Infection Prevention and Control Action Plan (IPC) and the Revised Guidelines for IPC, Operation Theatre, and Central Sterile Services Departments (CSSD).

Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula, in his statement availed to the media, said the NSOAP is designed to address challenges and shortcomings related to the provision of safe surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia healthcare services. These challenges were compounded by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The NSOAP addresses six vital health system domains – surgical infrastructure and equipment, surgical service delivery, surgical workforce, surgical information management, surgical financing, and surgical system governance,” the minister said.

Shangula however said there is still much work to be done as factors such as population growth, dispersed rural populations, and other public health priorities have placed significant pressure on the capacity to deliver equitable, high-quality emergency care, surgical obstetric, and anaesthesia services to those in need.

He said to ensure the successful implementation of the NSOAP, the Health Ministry, with support from its health partners, will allocate the necessary resources. Shangula stated that the ministry is committed to actively monitoring and evaluating the implementation process, engaging all stakeholders and partners in a continuous effort to achieve the goal of universal health coverage for all Namibians.

Shangula also explained that the IPC Action Plan addresses the challenges faced by the ministry in preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections. The plan is informed by the World Health Organisation IPC Assessment Tool, which is designed to implement evidence-based interventions in healthcare settings. It aims to enhance IPC education and training for healthcare workers, improve surveillance and reporting systems for healthcare-associated infections, and elevate the monitoring and evaluation of IPC activities.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency