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World Patient Safety Day: WHO Commends FG For National Patient Safety Policy.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says they are working with countries to implement it’s Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030.

WHO Country Representative to Nigeria and Head of Mission, Dr. Walter Mulombo, disclosed this in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja, in commemoration of the 2021 World Patient Safety Day.

He said the WHO is also providing support to Nigeria to develop a national quality policy and strategy that will ensure quality of care provided to patients including pregnant women and their newborn babies.

Molumbo, also says the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey shows that Nigeria has 512/100,000 live births and newborn mortality at 39 per 1000 live births noting that a similar picture is seen in the African Region, as Africa accounts for nearly 7 out of 10 maternal deaths and 1 out of 3 newborn deaths globally.

While outlining some of the major causes of death among pregnant women and mothers to include postpartum hemorrhage, hypertensive diseases, and sepsis he said the causes of death amongst newborns, include premature birth, babies not getting enough oxygen during birth, and infections.

Molumbo, echoed the thoughts of the Regional Director, WHO AFRO Dr. Moeti Matshidiso which states that “many of these deaths could be prevented by making sure patients feel safe, respected and that their needs are heard and acted on, and by equipping the health workers with the knowledge, skills and tools to take life-saving action”.

He said we need to do everything to stop the preventable deaths by ensuring our health facilities provide high quality, safe and effective healthcare.

To combat this hesitancy, health systems need to work on building community trust and invest more in good infection prevention and control practices which he says includes investing in access to clean water, sanitation and medical waste disposal systems, doing regular refresher training with health workers, and making sure sufficient quantities of gloves, masks and other protective equipment are available.

He added that care should be provided with compassion and respect, by health workers with the skills to succeed, and in clean and safe environments that prevent the spread of infections.

Molumbo, further appreciated the Government of Nigeria’s effort in establishing the Patient bill of right and efforts to develop a National Patient safety policy.

He said in the past 3 years, WHO has been providing technical support to government as part of the WHO-led Quality, Equity and Dignity (QED) network with the aim of halving maternal and newborn mortality by 2030.

So far, 112 Health facilities across 12 States and FCT are on the network with the support of WHO and other development partners”.
He said “There have been demonstrable results in not just reducing maternal and newborn mortality but also improving the experience of care of mothers when they access care in health facilities”.

WHO is supporting the government to enlarge this intervention to private sector with a recent scoping mission on mechanism for engagement of private sector for QOC”,he said.

Molumbo noted that engaging patients as partners in the provision of quality care, health systems will make tangible progress towards Universal Health Coverage; the voice of patients and their feedbacks must matter in healthcare provision.

He further said there is need for more investment to ensure we not only save lives of women and children, but also to improve their experience of healthcare.

This he said will birth trust in the system and could in turn improve the health seeking behaviour of the populace.
He encouraged all stakeholders, governments, civil society, the private sector, health workers and communities to speak up for patient safety and to act now for safe and respectful childbirth.

The World Patient Safety Day is celebrated every year on 17 September, to raise awareness of the importance of peoples centred care and preventing harm to patients.

The theme for this year 2021 is “safe maternal and new-born care” with a campaign to “act now for safe and respectful childbirth”.

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