By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has said building strong health systems will enhance patient safety as well as the safety of health care workers in the continent.
Dr. Moeti stated this in the maiden edition of the World Patient Day set aside to discuss issues bordering on the patient safety in Abuja.
She said “the WHO Regional office for Africa recognises and places high importance on patient safety to ensure that it has the rightful prominence within health care in the region”.
Represented by the officer in charge for the WHO country office in Nigeria, Dr. Clement Lugala Peter, Dr. Moeti enumerated some predisposing factors that hampered on the patient safety to include, inadequate funding, weak health care delivery with sub-optimal infrastructure and lack of health facilities as well as lack of national policies, among others.
He further expressed the WHO’s resolve to supporting countries in determining the status of patient safety, development and implementation of national policies, guidelines and protocols for enhancing safety, as well as facilitating patient safety networks and partnerships.
She also express delight that up to 80 percent of the global disease burden from patient harm that originated at primary and ambulatory levels are preventable if found in the settings of an improved diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines among others
She also stressed the need for making a patient safety a priority hence the need to bringing all the key stakeholders together and allows providers, seekers and managers of health care services to express solidarity and commitment to making health care safer.
Dr. Moeti therefore called on all stakeholders to promote an open communication that will enhance understanding and emphasise patient safety importance as well as making their voice heard.
“I call upon all stakeholders to make strong commitments, prioritise and take early action, and support the implementation of strategies for ensuring patient safety, managing risks and fostering supportive, learning culture”, she stated.
This year’s theme of the World Patient Day is: “Patient Safety: A global health priority”.