The Ministry of Health and Social Services launched a new state-of-the-art human resource management system in the capital. The digital, web-based integrated Human Resources Information System (iHRIS) is in use in more than 20 countries worldwide to manage health workforces in order to improve access to health services. The iHRIS will reduce the burden of the current paper-based system, give health workers immediate access to needed information, and allow them to focus more time on service to patients instead of administrative tasks.

Managers and policymakers will benefit as well. With iHRIS, vital health worker information will be instantly available to those that need it. Human Resources staff will be able to review and update personnel records. Managers will be able to more strategically deploy resources to where they are needed most. Decision-makers will have the data at their fingertips to more efficiently develop long-term policies, plans, and budgets.

“The bottom line is that you can’t effectively respond to a health crisis without real time information of where the need is greatest; this system will provide that information,” said Jessica Long, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires at the launch event.

To mark the launch of iHRIS, the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Mr. Ben Nangombe used the system to hire a new registered nurse, Ms. Letisia Haidula, the first time iHRIS has been used for that purpose in Namibia.

He also launched Namibia’s first-ever Human Resources for Health Status Report, a detailed analysis of staffing levels and shortages at public health facilities across the country. Once fully operational, iHRIS will allow for immediate identification of shortages and will be used to ensure staff are more strategically deployed to meet the health needs of all Namibians.

Recent experiences with COVID-19 in Namibia have underscored the need for an accurate and up-to-date information system to quickly track, train, and mobilize health workers across the country. Having easily accessible data on the health workforce is essential to respond to immediate challenges and to plan for new and emerging threats.

The integrated Human Resources Information System was funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) project.

The investment by the U.S Government in Namibia’s health workforce will strengthen the Health Ministry’s capacity to provide equitable access to health services for all Namibians.