Online Program

Health in All Policies where it matters most: Namibia's multisectoral response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:09 a.m. - 9:22 a.m.

Norbert Forster, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia, Namibia
Southern Africa remains the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic with prevalence rates as high as 40 percent in the most affected communities. Located close to the “eye of the storm,” Namibia has not been spared. While it saw its first HIV/AIDS cases during the mid to late 1980s, the country then experienced rapid and exponential growth of prevalence rates in the generalized population during the 1990s and early 2000s.

As a result, Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services was faced with an enormous challenge to lead and coordinate the control of the epidemic and its impact on the nation’s public health, welfare, and socioeconomic development. The ministry did so through a three-pronged approach for action across a large number of diverse sectors. This included efforts to a) prevent of the spread of new infections; b) provide anti- retroviral treatment to eligible cases; and c) mitigate the epidemic’s impact on households through a transfer of social grants and provision of psychosocial care and support.

This presentation will describe two key Health in All Policies (HiAP) strategies applied to mobilize and sustain Namibia’s complex epidemic response efforts across multiple sectors and actors. This includes developing joint policy and strategy, and implementing joint supervision and progress monitoring. The presenter will describe lessons learned, including the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of leading, coordinating, and sustaining an HIV response by way of HiAP strategies.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe Health in All Policies strategies that increase effectiveness of multi-sectoral action for health. Compare strengths and weaknesses of various Health in All Policies strategies. Describe the potential of Health in All Policies in making significant changes to public health outcomes.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the chairperson of the Namibia AIDS Executive Committee during the time when the multisectoral HIV/AIDS policy and strategy were developed and implemented. Among my interests has been the development and leadership of multi-scetoral approaches, which have included, amongst others, joint policy formulation as well as supportive supervision mechanisms and processes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.