IT Makeover for Health Sector in Namibia

Digital Content

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has started the rollout of a new IT network in six regions.

So far, centres in six regions in Namibia have received equipment as part of the Ministry's Human Resource Information Management System (HRIMS) rollout.

Gregory Gottlieb, USAID Country Director, said HRIMS is a critical tool to address the shortage of health professionals in Namibia. He said the HRIMS system would help to effectively manage health staffing "in order to quickly answer key policy and management questions affecting healthcare service delivery."

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, said he believes this project "is of paramount importance, as it will be providing us with the necessary information to access our human resources needs, make optimal policy decisions on human resources, plan effectively and asses the performance of our human resources".

In addition to the donation of IT equipment valued at N$1 million, IntraHealth trained 79 ministry staff in computer literacy, 31 in the HR system and others in the maintenance and operation of the HRIMS.

Ministry system administrator Hafeni Haogongo, a team leader of the project, said the installation of the national information systems would minimise paperwork and possible information loss.

"All this is very exiting because this new IT equipment and the data centre makes our job easier and cancels chances of lost data," he said.

The equipment came in the form of computers and terminals and a new data centre, located at the ministry's head office in Windhoek. Gottlieb said the Ministry was in the process of equipping the three remaining regions with HRIMS, "bringing all of Namibia's health workers into one common HR system."

Kamwi reminded health workers that despite the technical improvements "the quality of health services that are delivered, their effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility and viability depend on those who deliver the services, the health workforce."