TB Control in Namibia 2002-2011: Progress and Technical Assistance


Namibia is among the five countries worstly affected by tuberculosis (TB) with a notification rate of 465/100,000 in 2011. This paper describes how the National Tuberculosis Leprosy Program (NTLP) developed from a poorly performing TB control program in 2002 into a well performing program in 2011.

The program achieved 85% treatment success for new sputum-positive patients, high coverage and performance on TB/Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) collaborative program activities, and institution of Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (PMDT) where this was absent before.

Provision of significant short- and long-term technical assistance provided by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV) in the period 2002-2011 was catalytic in leveraging a total of U$ 80million of external funding in a stepwise approach balanced with absorption capacity, in combination with national policy review and support for its implementation on the basis of two consecutive costed national strategic plans.

The technical assistance by KNCV, in partnership with other international technical agencies for specialized areas, proved to work very well in this context where Namibian human resources and funding for TB control were initially limited and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) welcomed extensive technical assistance.

Keywords: Community-based tuberculosis control, HIV/AIDS, KNCV.