WPSD: Nigeria develops strategy on patient safety

By Edward Samuel, Abuja

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The Nigerian Government has developed a National Policy and Implementation Strategy on Patient Safety and Care Quality to prevent errors and minimize harm to patients during provision of Healthcare Services.

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Kachollom Daju made this known during a press briefing to commemorate the 2023 World Patient Safety Day(WSPD) in Abuja the nations capital with the theme: Engaging Patients for Patient Safety’ and the slogan ‘Elevate the Voice of Patients.
The World Patient Safety Day commemoration highlights the importance of patient safety in Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The Permanent Secretary said the policy focuses on improving patient and family engagement in health care, medication, surgical, infection prevention & control, (IPC) safeties of all medical procedures.
Daju explained that this has been done in line with Resolution 18 of the 55th World Health Assembly, (WHA 55.18) which called for Member States to recognize the burden of patient safety and to set up policies to manage them.

“Patient safety fundamentally entails preventing errors and minimizing harm to patients during provision of healthcare services, these errors could come from surgical mishaps, medication errors, or diagnostic inaccuracies; however, safeguarding our patients is of utmost importance.”

She also noted that this years theme emphasizes the pivotal role patients, families, and their caregivers play in ensuring the safety of healthcare delivery.

“Empowering patients to become integral members of their healthcare teams is a crucial avenue to significantly enhance the safety of their care and the healthcare system as a whole, patients can provide invaluable contributions when they actively participate in their healthcare decisions”, she added.

On the slogan: “Elevate the voice of patients”, the World Health Organization, (WHO) urged all stakeholders to take the necessary steps to ensure that patients are not just passive recipients of healthcare but active participants.

“This includes involving them in policy formulation, representation in governance structures, co-designing safety strategies, and making them partners in their own care”, She said.

Daju explained that: “Our commitment to providing safer and higher-quality health services to all the able and vulnerable, to the child and to the adult, to the males and female, everyone in Nigeria is resolute, this effort will strengthen our healthcare system and build the trust that citizens place in it”. She said.

In his goodwill message, the World Health Organisation, (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said the quality of care provided is often jeopardized as a result of lack of coordination and fragmentation of quality programmes, human resource challenges, inadequate data to guide decision making.

Dr. Mulombo was represented by the Deputy County Representative, Alexander Chimbaru explained that the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 outlines important guidelines, including identifying local and tailored approaches to engage patients, families and civil society organizations in the co-development of policies, plans, strategies, programmes, and guidelines to make health care safer.

“Learn from the experiences of patients and families exposed to unsafe care to improve understanding of the nature of harm and foster the development of more effective solutions, build the capacity of patient advocates and champions in patient safety, establish the principle and practice of openness and transparency in health care, including measures for disclosure of patient safety incidents to patients and families”, he added.


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