Nigeria commemorates the First World Patient Safety Day

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire(5th from R), flanked by the WHO, Officer-In-Charge, Dr. Clement Peter (4th-r), the Perm Sec. Health, Mr. Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi,(6th-r) and other dignitaries, after the World Patient's Safety Day celebration in Abuja.

Nigeria has joined the global community in the commemoration of the First World Patient Safety Day, in alignment with the decision at the 72nd World Health Assembly for member countries to commemorate 17th September every year as World Patient Safety Day.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehaneri disclosed that the objective of this first World Patient Safety Day is to raise global awareness about patient safety, with the theme: “Patient Safety: a global health priority.”

 The Minister pointed out that safety of patients during the provision of health services is of concern and high quality, technologically advanced care must also include clear safety protocols as prerequisite for strengthening health care delivery. Dr. Osagie made this statement in a Press conference to commemorate the First World Patient Safety Day celebration, at the Ministry’s headquarters, in Abuja.

The Minister reiterated that, for Nigeria to make progress towards effective Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and sustainable Development Goal No 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote health and well- being for all.

According to the Minister, the Slogan for the 2019 World Patient Safety Day is: “Speak up for Patient Safety”, which is important to patient safety.

Dr Osagie stated that Patients safety practice means faithful adherence to process, rules and protocols, which if applied, reduced the risk of any adverse event resulting from a person’s exposure to the health –care system with the aim of making health care safer for both patients and the service provider. The fundamental and important principle of medical practice states “First do no harm.”

According to Dr. Osagie, “adequate data for understanding the problems associated with patient safety at all levels of health care undertake evidence –based planning and studies to address the issues.”

He disclosed that patient safety is prioritized in the National Health Policy 2016, which outlines policy statements for improving the quality of health services and ensure patient safety at all levels of the health system, and the Second National Strategic Health Development Plan 2018 – 2022 which further highlights the strategies for strengthening infection prevention and control practices in Nigeria and promoting patient safety.

In addition, he said that the Nigeria Patients’ Bill Rights (PBoR) also indicates that providers are liable to provide quality care by ensuring that they “deliver care that minimizes risk and harm to patients, including preventable injury and errors” and “adopt clinical governance standards and provide the best care while protecting patients from harm, or abuse”.

He further underlined that the Ministry of Health is doing all it could to strengthen the health sector leadership capacities and build Organisational culture on Patient right, Patients safety and quality across all levels of care. He stated that Mainstream quality of care in all health sector programmes is very paramount.

The Minister urged all stakeholders to support government’s efforts to maintain quality of care at all levels as “we mark this Patient safety day” he noted.

In his remarks, the World Health Organisation, Officer in Charge, Dr. Clement Peter, said that Nigeria would not achieve Universal Health Coverage except patients are put at the fore-front of health care delivery.

He also said that healthcare workers safety is equally important, therefore healthcare facilities need to provide working environment that are healthy and safe.

Dr. Peter also charged the Nigerian Government to come up with policies, tools and strategies that would promote patient safety.

He stated that awareness would need to be created in communities and other social circles in order to ensure better health outcomes. This could be achieved through collaboration with development partners, Dr. Peter advised.

The Permanent Secretary, Health, Mr. Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi, implored all healthcare practitioners to adopt the best healthcare practices which are in line with globally accepted standards.

Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Head, Press and Public Relations.