Promoting and providing public health services at the heart of healthy living

  • WASHOpen or Close
    WASHWASH activities at Iipopo Combined School-Oshikoto region

    “I really thank this WASH program for teaching us the basic things about how we as girls can handle our menstruation and to understand how our bodies work. I started with my periods last year and I did not really know much about it at that time. It somehow came as a surprise. Because of this program, we also now can be given pads at school in case if menstruation starts and the girl did not have any pads with her.”

    14 year old girl, Bagani Combined School, Kavango East region

    With support from UNICEF, the interventions on Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) was implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the multi-sectoral support from the Water Sanitation and Hygiene in School (WinS) steering committee.

    The project was implemented in March 2015 – April 2016 in 100 schools across 7 regions namely, Zambezi, Kavango West, Kavango East, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, and Oshikoto.

    The project was designed to address needs identified based on a Needs Assessment on WASH in schools led by SFH and partners in 2013/14 which found that one quarter (25%) of the total number of 420 schools surveyed have water piped into the school buildings. Other findings were summarized as follow:

    • Non-existent or insufficient water supply, sanitation and hand-washing facilities in some schools;

    • Toilets or latrines that are not adapted to the needs of children, in particular girls;

    • Broken, dirty and unsafe water supply, sanitation and hand-washing facilities in some schools;

    • Children with poor hygiene and hand-washing practices.

    Why working with school learners on basic hygiene and sanitation is essential:

    • Children are eager to learn. Schools can stimulate and support positive behavioural change in children.

    • Children have important roles in household chores related to hygiene.

    • Children may question existing practices in the household and become agents of change within their families and communities.

    • Children are future parents. What they learn at school is likely to be passed on to their own children.

    The overall goal of the project was to promote hygiene and sanitation practices in schools with the objectives to:

    • To increase awareness and political support to improve WASH situation in the target regions through advocacy, communication and mobilization.

    • To ensure that circuit inspectors, principals and teachers have a basic understanding of WASH concept and how it affects learning and health of learners.

    Project conceptualization

    The 100 participating schools were drawn from 7 regions as follow:

    Omusati region (17), Ohangwena region (17), Kavango East (18) West (15) region, Zambezi region (17), Oshana region (9)and Oshikoto region (7)

    These are the regions with low performing indicators on sanitation, safe water supply and prone to floods. Forty-seven schools among the 100 schools were previously supported through the MCA-N WinS project. At National level, the project was managed by SFH serving as a secretariat to the WinS steering committee while the PQA Director within the MoEAC served as the Chairperson. At these meetings, SFH provided progress update on the project including challenges encountered. Due to competing priorities, the WinS committee only met twice before it was integrated into the broader School Health Task Force led by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and MoEAC.

    WASHGlobal Hand Wash day Commemoration at Enyana Combined School, Ohangwena region
    Training materials

    To measure the effectiveness of the program, the following methodologies were used:

    1) Monitoring and supervisory visits

    2) Pre-and post-check list

    3) Interview and focus group discussions

    4) Questionnaire for the WASH clubs

    Highlight of Achievements:

    • 1,039 participants (circuit inspectors, principals, teachers, school cleaners and community facilitators) were trained out of the 1360 target

    • School-based 53 new Hygiene and Sanitation Clubs established and sustained

    • 100 school managements received sensitization on the National Guidelines on School Cleanliness, Tidiness and Waste Management


    “I really thank this WASH program for teaching us the basic things about how we as girls can handle our menstruation and to understand how our bodies work. I started with my periods last year and I did not really know much about it at that time. It somehow came as a surprise. Because of this program, we also now can be given pads at school in case if menstruation starts and the girl did not have any pads with her.”

    14 year old girl, Bagani Combined School, Kavango East region

    KEY populations

    SFH, with funding from USAID and the Global Fund (through NANASO), implements a Key Population program (KP) aimed at improving access to comprehensive HIV prevention, care, treatment and support. The core of the KP program is case management which aims to provide holistic and comprehensive care to KPs including effective linkages to services.


    The project is implemented through KP-led organisations:

    Out-Right Namibia (ORN)

    King’s Daughters Organisation (KDO)

    Rights Not Rescue Trust (RnRT)

    Voice of Hope Trust (VHT)

    Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA)

    Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG)

    Caprivi Hope for Life Trust (CHFLT)

    The project targets LGBTI and Sex Worker (SW) communities with combination prevention approaches including SBCC, HTC, ART, VMMC, PMTCT, PEP, Condoms and lubricants and enabling environment for KP led advocacy. SFH uses a case management approach to provide systematic and comprehensive care to identified KP at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. The case management approach incorporates STI and TB screening and referrals, screening for the use of contraception, violence, mental illness and adherence support.

    Some of the key achievements during the 2015/2016 include:

    • Over 16,000 KPs and other vulnerable populations completed 10 sessions of PEPP (Peer Education Plus Programme)

    • Over 22,000 condoms and lubricants distributed

    • Over 15,000 individuals received HIV Testing and Counseling within the project with over 1,100 being KPs. Those clients diagnosed with HIV were referred to health facilities providing ART

    • More than 110 KPs were enrolled in care and treatment during the year

    • Developed a Case Management guide and tools

    • Recruited Case Workers who were trained to provide Case Management and HTC. Currently 20 Case Workers are providing services in 6 regions

    • Development of database to capture various activities including prevention sessions, HTC, Case Management and referrals, malaria and WASH sessions and trainings

    Malaria PreventionCase Management Training

    Key activities included:

    • Targeted HIV Testing and Counseling through outreach and moonlight in all the 6 regions

    • Packaging and distribution of safer sex kits

    • Sensitisation of healthcare workers on KP needs in Windhoek, KatimaMulilo, Keetmanshoop and Ohangwena

    • 21 Case Workers trained in Case Management & REDCap in Windhoek during February 2016. The training included sessions on Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) provided by ORN

    Malaria Prevention

    The SFH, with support and funding from the Global Fund through MoHSS, implements a malaria prevention programme in the malaria affected areas of Kavango, Oshana and Omusati regions.

    The key activities and achievements during 2015 include:

    • 79108 household visits conducted by CHWs

    • 177 709 people (older than15 yrs) reached with malaria messages through household visits

    • 9316 community outreach events were conducted

    • 142 000 people reached (older than15 yrs) with malaria messages through community outreach events

    Namibia aims to eliminate Malaria by 2020. Malaria is a serious health problem, especially for children and pregnant women. Although malaria can be severe, early and appropriate treatment is very effective. A failure to recognize danger signs and a delay in treatment often has serious consequences, including death, especially for children. Based on the 2015/16 annual report of the National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme (NVDC), between 2002 and 2012, Namibia achieved a remarkable decline in malaria morbidity and mortality with an incidence of 249.7 cases per 1000 population in 2002 to 1.4 cases per 1000 in 2012.

    During the same period these declines were associated with a drop in malaria deaths from 1,030 to 4 reported malaria deaths, respectively. Thereafter, a fluctuating trend in malaria incidence ranging from 1.4 cases per 1000 in 2012 to 10.2 per 1000 in 2016 has been observed and this is attributed to the increase in malaria cases during and after the rainy seasons.

    As part of a long standing cooperative agreement between the Society for Family Health and the Ministry of Health and Social Services and with funding from Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, SFH implements a community based malaria prevention program in Omusati, Oshana and Kavango East. Since 2003, the malaria program has been in existence in these communities working in close collaboration with community leaders and health facilities supporting prevention activities, surveillance and distribution of mosquito nets. There are over SFH’s 300 community health workers (CHWs) and 5 program officers in the regions.

    The objectives of the program are to:

    • Increase the utilization of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN)

    • Increase timely care seeking for complicated malaria among children under five and pregnant women.

    • Strengthen collaboration between health structures and communities through social mobilization and home visits.

    • Promote appropriate management of malaria in households and communities

    The core functions of SFH’s (CHWs) are to:

    • support social and behavior change communication activities in accordance with the national strategy.

    • increase acceptance and utilization of interventions such as mosquito nets.

    • ensure that the community understands the public health benefit of treating all infected persons, regardless of their symptoms more especially during outbreaks.

    Highlight of achievements: Over the recent years, the program has observed remarkable reduction in malaria cases especially in Omusati and Oshana regions. Although Kavango East has also made steady improvements in malaria cases and deaths, these gains are usually derailed because of low coverage of malaria interventions in high malaria endemic neighboring countries and high population movement with increased risk of importation of malaria parasite.

  • AGYWOpen or Close
    The Adolescent Girls and Young WomenThe Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) initiative overall aim is to reduce vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women to HIV infection, unintended pregnancies and related social determinants.
    Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Initiative

    The Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) initiative implementation started in the last quarter of 2016 and is being implemented in selected schools and health facilities in Kunene, Omaheke, Zambezi, Omusati, Kavango East and Kavango West.

    The aims:

    • Build positive relationships with adolescents

    • Provide a supportive, user-friendly adolescent-centered services

    This program implementation is based on MoHSS 2012 HIV data - showed about:

    *43 % of new infections took place in the age group 15–24.

    *67% of these infections are estimated to be among young women aged 15–24 – making women and girls are most vulnerable

    *There is low uptake of HIV Testing Services by adolescents aged 15-19

    *Only 14% of females and 29% males By the age of 15-24

    *The 2013 Demographic and Health Survey indicates that 45% and 43 % of males and females respectively have already engaged in sexual intercourse.

    Overall aim of this initiative is to reduce vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women to HIV infection, unintended pregnancies and related social determinants.

    Therefore interventions are designed with the objectives of:

    1. Ensuring that adolescents complete schooling, avoid pregnancies and HIV infection.

    2. For adolescent and young women already living with HIV, supporting them with life skills education and related services for positive living.

    3. Ensuring greater access to comprehensive adolescent-friendly and adolescent-centered sexual and reproductive health services.

    It is clearly known that traditional biomedical interventions serve only as one piece of the solutions to HIV infection in adolescent girls and young women. Other structural drivers of risk for HIV infections be it from legal, economic and social factors falls outside the health and education sectors. These factors are not included in this initiative and should be highly considered as the program expands. Therefore the current AGYW program is designed around the following interventions:

    • Promoting adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services that address the barriers to care faced by women and girls;

    • Educating and mobilizing young boys and men for HIV testing services and linkage to voluntary medical male circumcision;

    • The fact that the same girls and young women who are at risk of HIV are also at risk of unintended pregnancy, the program highlights the use of dual protection methods for the prevention of unintended pregnancy and HIV infection;

    • Training providers in the provision of care that is adolescent-friendly across a spectrum of services, from HIV testing to violence screening and contraceptive counseling, and the possibility for PrEP provision to young women at substantial risk for acquiring.

    Funding for this program was received during the last quarter of 2016, focus was on preparing for the implementation of the AGYW program. This includes:

    • Briefing of both Ministries – Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministries of Education, Arts and Culture, constituency councilors on the program;

    • Soliciting support from communities and announcement through local radios and print adverts in search of young, vibrant and goal-focused youth to serve as community facilitators and liaison between the school, community and health facility;

    • Completing the recruitment process of community facilitators with the assistance from the regional office from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

    • Consolidating training materials and monitoring and evaluation tools

    The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has provided SFH with a list of schools in the focused regions to work with. On the other hand, focus health facilities have also been identified for SFH to work with in supporting adolescents living with HIV with life skills and related services.

    The core package of interventions is designed to reach the following target groups in the 6 regions and 10 schools from each region by December 2017 for the following indicators:

    • 1800 vulnerable adolescent girls

    • 2400 out of schools adolescents and young women

    • 2400 Adolescents and young women attending tertiary institutions

    • Number of adolescents living with HIV from participating district hospitals and health centers in the target regions

    • Number of adolescents and young women referred for VMMC, SRH and related services

    The following schools are participating in the program:

    Kavango West - 10 Schools
    See the list of schools

    Leevi Hakusembe Senior Secondary School
    Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School
    Nkerunkuru Combined School
    Mupini Combined School
    Nakazaza Combined School
    Sharukwe Combined School
    Kanuni Haruwodi Senior Primary School
    Siya Combined School
    Bunya Combined School
    Kasote Combined School

    Kavango East Region 10 Schools
    See the list of schools

    Rundu Senior Secondary School
    Dr R. Kampungu Secondary School
    Max Makushe Secondary School
    Elia M. Nelomba Secondary School
    Sauyemwa Combined School
    Mashare Combined School
    Uvhungu-vhungu Combined School
    Kayengona Combined School
    Maria Mwengere Senior Secondary School
    Shambyu Combined School

    Zambezi Region – 10School
    See the list of schools
    Ngweze Secondary School
    Simataa Secondary School
    Mafwila Secondary School
    Mayuni Secondary School
    Mavuluma Secondary School
    Sangwali Secondary School
    Masokotwani Secondary School
    Nakabolelwa Combined School
    Singalamwe Combined School
    Caprivi Secondary School
    Omusati Region 10 Schools
    See the list of schools

    Omufitu North Combined School
    Omafa Combined School
    Ashipala Secondary School
    Shedile Junior Secondary School
    Pyamukuu Combined School
    Ondeka Combined School
    Ombuumbuu Junior Secondary School
    Onkani Combined School
    Mwaala Secondary School
    Shaanika Nashilongo Secondary School

    Kunene Region 10 Schools
    See the list of schools

    Putuavanga Senior Secondary School
    Mureti Senior Secondary School
    Outjo Senior Secondary School
    Alpha Combined School
    Otjerunda Combined School
    Elias Amxab Combined School
    Kaoko Otavi Combined School
    Cornelius Goreseb Senior Secondary School
    Kamanjab Combined School
    Welwitschia Junior Secondary School

    Omaheke Region 10 Schools
    See the list of schools

    Winnie Du Plessis Senior Secondary School
    Epako High School
    Mokganedi Tlhabanello Senior Secondary School
    Johannes Dohren (RC) Senior Secondary Gustav Kandjii Senior Secondary School
    Nossob Combined School
    Rietquelle Junior Secondary School
    Izak Buys Junior Secondary School
    Epukiro Post 3 Junior Secondary School
    C.Heuva Junior Secondary School


  • Pre-exposure ProphylaxisOpen or Close
    The Adolescent Girls and Young WomenNamibian delegation for the PrEP learning visit in Johannesburg and Pretoria, 25 - 29 October 2016

    With funding from USAID, the Society for Family Health (SFH) facilitated a learning visit for the MoHSS senior officials and stakeholders during 25-29 October 2016 in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa. The delegation included representatives from Namibia HIV Clinician Society, WBCG Wellness Program, MoHSS and SFH. The learning visit on the delivery of pre-exposure ARV prophylaxis (PrEP) services is offered at several demonstration sites in South Africa, jointly cohosted by the National Department of Health and Wits Reproductive Health Institute/University of Witswatersand.

    This activity is in response to the MoHSS’ effort to incorporate PrEP into the revised National ART Guideline and initial dialogue with MoHSS to implement PreP demonstration interventions in state and non-state health facilities for serodiscordant couples and other individuals at substantial risk of acquiring HIV through sexual transmission.

    The Adolescent Girls and Young WomenStakeholders attending the PrEP advocacy meeting in Windhoek, 15 June 2016

    As follow up, SFH convened a stakeholders meeting on Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV to share recent developments and evidence around PrEP as part of combination prevention package for HIV prevention on 15 June 2016 in Windhoek. Meeting was attended by over 50 participants representing CSOs, including KP-led organisations, Medical school – UNAM, Nambia HIV Clinician Society, MoHSS and UNAIDS and USAID.

    Guest Speakers included: The World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and Social Services and Anova Health institute/EQUIP innovation for Health.

    Outcome of the meeting: with ample evidence demonstrating that PrEP is highly effective for HIV prevention and the meeting recommended further dialogues with the Ministry of Health and Social Services to explore the possibility of expanding PrEP provision to people who are at substantial risk of HIV acquisition.

    TruvadaPre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – an additional prevention tool for HIV

    • Pre-Exporsure Prohylaxis (PrEP) refers to the use of TDF/FTC once daily in HIV negative people in order to reduce their risk of HIV infection

    • PrEP is 92-100% effective and delivered in combination with other prevention services

    • Requires daily adherence

    • Approved by international and local guidelines

    • PrEP is safe

    • PrEP is not a lifelong medication

    • PrEP is not HIV treatment

    • PrEP does not lead to HIV drug resistance

    • PrEP does not lead to increased risk behaviors

    • PrEP is provided as part of a combination of HIV prevention tools

  • Military Action PreventionOpen or Close
    Military HIV

    The Society for Family Health is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the capacity enhancement of key military personnel to ensure capacity for HIV prevention, care and support. This program has been receiving financial support from the US Department of Defense since 2003.

    For over 17 years, SFH has been working in partnership with the U.S Department of Defense (DOD) and the Namibian Ministry of Defense to implement a Military Action and Prevention Program (MAPP) with the Namibian Defense Force (NDF).

    The aim of this programme is to reduce the military personnel and their families’ vulnerability to HIV, while creating a more positive environment for other at risk populations.

    This programme is implemented in 13 military bases in country targeting all military personnel and civilians at each of the 13 bases. To enhance program efficiency and promote ownership, the SFH has trained peer educators at each of the military bases to support activity implementation and reach out to their peers. Training has also been provided to Commanders and HIV unit coordinators. The program equally addresses other cross-cutting issues such as gender, stigma and discrimination.

    The project objectives included:

    • Reducing new infections among military personnel and their families

    • Strengthening linkages to HIV services for military personnel and their families

    • Increasing military personnel and their families’ access to condoms

    • Providing technical assistance and strengthening the capacity of the military to implement the MAPP program including on condom forecasting and distribution plan development and implementation

    Condom demonstration Condom and lubricant demonstration
    Highlights of achievements

    • To achieve this programme area, camouflage condoms were procured and distributed to all military bases. Technical assistance was provided to MoD to develop a forecasting and distribution plan for military condoms to all implementing bases in the country.

    • A total of 1,920,000 military condoms were procured.

    • A total of 34,390 condoms were distributed

    • Condom dispensers were fitted and regularly checked and replenished by peer-educators to ensure consistent availability and supply of condoms for all.

    • A total of 6447 (72%) military personnel including civilians were reached with standard package of HIV prevention activities in 13 bases

    Condom demoCondom demonstration
    MAPP Project Achievements

    • 7201 military personnel (MARP) reached with individual and/or small group level interventions that are based on evidence and /or meet the minimum standards required

    • 216 healthcare workers who successfully completed an in-service training program (Peer Educators, Unit HIV Coordinators, Gender Focal Persons, Base Commanders, Master Trainers, Chaplains)

    • 511 civilians reached with individual and/or small group level preventive interventions that are based on evidence and/or meet the minimum standards required

    • 21 of targeted condom service outlet

  • Maternal and Child Health CareOpen or Close

    Empowering communities with knowledge and skills on maternal and child health issues;

  • Non Communicable DiseasesOpen or Close

    Educating communities on the prevention of non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, hypertension,etc.) and promoting health seeking behaviors.

  • Internship programmeOpen or Close
    NUST HIV Open DayCommunications Intern Frieda Lukas providing information to student during the NUST HIV Open Day, September 2017


    SFH offers practical training to students, offering internships particularly in fields of Social Studies, Communications, Public Health, Information and Communication Technology.


    SFH internsMoses Ngongo and Hilma Andreas from UNAM’s Statistics Department have been interns for 2017, seen here preparing for the day’s work


    In 2017, SFH signed an agreement with NUST to place interns in the Communication department of SFH from the Communication, Marketing and Media Department of NUST.











  • Employee wellnessOpen or Close
    SFH internsSix of our longest service employees were awarded at the organisations 20th Anniversary - Nov 2017


    SFH internsSFH's Bertha Joas receive a hamper from NHP Wellness Coordinator, Elana Greeff, while HR Coordinator Francina Kashani looks on.



    Our employees are our biggest capital. The wellness of our employees is our priority and we take pride in our diversity is our strength.





    SFH offers some of the best packages as well, prioritises staff wellness as well as reward longest serving staff.















  • Consultancy Services, Research and Publication Open or Close

    We provide a high level of professional services in various areas to government and private sectors; technical assistance, public health policy and program development, monitoring and evaluation, training and research.