OHAI Hails First World Patient Safety Day
“Millions of patients are harmed each year due to unsafe health care worldwide resulting in 2.6 million deaths annually in low-and middle-income countries alone”.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), most of these complications and deaths are avoidable. The personal, social and economic impact of patient harm leads to losses of trillions of US dollars worldwide. It is on this note that the World Health Organization is focusing global attention on the issue of patient safety and launching a campaign in solidarity with patients on the very first World Patient Safety Day on 17 September, 2019.
“No one should be harmed while receiving health care. And yet globally, at least 5 patients die every minute because of unsafe care,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We need a patient safety culture that promotes partnership with patients, encourages reporting and learning from errors, and creates a blame-free environment where health workers are empowered and trained to reduce errors.”
According to a World Health report, four out of every ten patients are harmed during primary and ambulatory health care. The most detrimental errors are related to diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines. Medication errors alone cost an estimated US$ 42 billion annually. Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients resulting in 1 million deaths during or immediately after surgery annually.
In agreement, Dr. Ver-or Ngutor (FWACS), the Executive Director of Oral Health Advocacy Initiative (OHAI), a Non-Governmental Agency that seeks to advance the course of Oral Health delivery in Africa, through Advocacy, Strategic Partnership, Community Mobilization, Oral Health Education, Consultancy and Treatment of Oro-facial Diseases and cleft surgeries noted that patient harm in health care delivery is unacceptable.
“OHAI is answering WHO’s call for urgent action by countries and health care providers around the world to reduce patient harm in health care” said Dr. Ver-or Ngutor. He added that Patient safety and quality of care are essential for delivering effective health services and achieving universal health coverage.
He reiterated the commitment of the organization to sustain her investment and international best practices in patient safety that can lead to significant financial savings since the cost of prevention is much lower than the cost of treatment due to harm.
OHAI has since the inception of her cleft surgery program in 2011 carried out over 3,500 safe surgeries in over 33 states in Nigeria following strict adherence to international health standard
On the very first World Patient Safety Day WHO is prioritizing patient safety as a global health priority and urging patients, healthcare workers, policy makers and health care industry to “Speak up for patient safety!”.
17 September was established as World Patient Safety Day by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019.