Low-cost health insurance schemes to protect the poor in Namibia

Emily Gustafsson-Wright*, Wendy Janssens, Jacques Van Der Gaag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Investigating alternative mechanisms of health care provision is important for African countries, where the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria increase the demands on the health care sector. This chapter, using a unique combination of household survey data and a biomedical survey with HIV test data from Greater Windhoek in Namibia, analyzes the extent to which the fairly well developed public health care sector in Namibia offers protection from health shocks to uninsured households. Namibia is in the top tier of African countries in health expenditures. Not only is government health spending high in relative terms at almost 8% of gross domestic product (GDP), but outof-pocket expenditures are the second lowest among African countries, after South Africa. So one would expect that the beneficial role of public health care would be particularly visible in this Southern African country. Namibia is also severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The latest estimates suggest a prevalence rate of 15% among working-age adults (UNAIDS 2008).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of Health Insurance in Low- And Middle-Income Countries
PublisherBrookings Institution Press
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


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