Health workforce planning in Namibia: assessing a pilot workforce survey of pharmacists

Timothy Rennie, Vulika Nangombe, Tafadzwa Mangombe, Dan Kibuule, Christian J. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Southern Africa lacks resources necessary to combat presenting health challenges. This crisis will likely be remedied through the in-country training of healthcare professionals, for example, in Namibia. Monitoring the workforce will be essential to inform planning in health services and training. A national pilot workforce survey in Namibia using a multi-modal sampling approach aimed to test methodology for describing the pharmacy workforce and quantifying preferences towards further training. Methods: The survey tool included questions relating to socio-demographics, professional and practice aspects. A conjoint analysis approach was utilised to quantify preferences around study programme, modality of study and cost. Key findings: Respondents (N = 135; ~20% response) represented a diverse range of individuals in various pharmacy sectors in Namibia. The majority of respondents reported female gender, private sector working, studying outside Namibia and societal group membership. Societal membership and pharmacy ownership – indicators of professional engagement – were associated with higher age; ownership was also associated with study outside Namibia and practice in community pharmacy. Regarding further study preferences, respondents placed more importance on study programme and modality over cost with the most preferred scenario being a 2-year full-time Masters programme in pharmaceutical industry/regulation by distance learning at the highest cost bracket. Conclusions: This national survey sampled the population of pharmacists in Namibia exploring the composition of the profession and preferences towards training. Further work will validate the findings and provide ongoing monitoring of the pharmacy workforce that can be expanded to other professional groups over a larger geographical area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The authors acknowledge the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Namibia), the Health Professions Councils of Namibia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Namibia for their assistance in the undertaking of this study. Also, appreciation for early discussions and advice from Christopher John, Head of Workforce Development at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and FIPEd Lead for Workforce Intelligence, and Prof. Ian Bates, Director of the FIPEd Workforce Development Hub, UCL-FIP Collaborating Centre, University College London.


  • career choices
  • education
  • other topics
  • professional practice
  • research method
  • skill mix
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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