Living in Namibia?
Schools and Healthcare in Namibia
Schools and Childcare
As one might expect, in Windhoek there are several international and private schools as well as many daycare and preschool options available. In addition to international schools, there are also Afrikaans, German, and British schools, among others. Some schools offer bilingual education. Many schools offer daycare and preschool classes, some even for infants. Places are limited for all grades, so getting a spot for your child in your first choice school can sometimes be difficult. There are fewer options to choose from in Namibia’s smaller cities and towns.
Here are some of the most popular international and private schools in Namibia:
- Windhoek International School
- Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek
- St. Paul’s College, Windhoek
- Windhoek Gymnasium Private School
- The Windhoek Waldorf School
- St. George’s Diocesan School, Windhoek
- The International School of Walvis Bay
- Die Privatschule Swakopmund
- Die Deutsche Privatschule Otjiwarongo
- Die Deutsche Privatschule Otavi
Namibia is generally a very safe country, especially compared to neighboring South Africa. Still, the high rate of poverty and unemployment leads to a fair amount of opportunistic crime. The most common types of crimes are pickpocketing, purse-snatching, and vehicle theft and break-ins. If you take common sense safety measures, like keeping your valuables out of sight, you should not have much to worry about in this regard during your time in Namibia. Crimes of a violent nature are very rare.
There have been reports of foreigners being robbed when they hail unregistered, or private, taxis on the street. The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) is taking steps to counteract this by making sure all registered taxis have a prominently displayed registration number. Calling ahead for a taxi instead of catching one on the street can also decrease your chances of becoming a victim of crime.
In an emergency, call 1011 for police services.
Unfortunately — like many other countries in Africa — HIV is one of Namibia’s most prevalent health issues. It is estimated that over 13 percent of the population, aged 15 to 49, are currently living with HIV. Adequate treatment for the virus in rural communities is scarce, due to the high amount of poverty and lack of education. Consequently, there are many orphaned children in Namibia. Since HIV is an immunodeficiency virus, people who are infected become more susceptible to contracting other diseases. Malaria is commonly found in Namibia and usually can be cured. However, people who are infected with HIV have more serious symptoms of Malaria and often die from the disease.
If you will be living in Windhoek, anti-malarial medication is not required, but it is recommended for anyone living north of this point — especially in the peak malaria season between November and June. There are occasional cholera outbreaks in the Kunene Region in the north of the country.
Recommended vaccines for expats moving to Namibia include Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, and other routine immunizations such as MMR and polio. The quality of tap water in Namibia varies depending on which city you are located in. Most expats prefer to drink bottled water, since there are still cases of e-coli and other bacteria outbreaks. If you are wondering if the tap water is safe to drink in your destination, then check this water safety website.
Healthcare and Medical Insurance
Both public and private healthcare systems operate in Namibia, with major differences in the quality of service provided. While the private facilities are well staffed and live up to Western standards, public hospitals are often understaffed and do not always offer all services, such as dialysis and organ transplants. The private hospitals in the capital are especially good and include the Mediclinic Windhoek.
To be admitted to most private hospitals in Namibia, you will either need to pay upfront, even if you have insurance, or provide a letter of guarantee from your health insurance provider, stating the maximum benefits available to you.
In Namibia, approximately 85% of the population is covered by public health insurance, while the remaining 15% have private insurance plans. You should check with your future employer to see if you and your family will be covered under a company health insurance plan. Make sure to carefully review exactly what will be covered. Depending on you and your family’s healthcare needs, you may wish to take out an additional international health insurance plan as well. Whatever you decide, it is important that your plan covers emergency dental care, hospitalization, and emergency transportation.
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