Uganda will on Friday 17th September 2021 commemorate World Patient Safety Day. The day was established in 2019 by the Seventy-second World Health Assembly through the adoption of resolution W[IA 72.6 — “Global action on patient safety”.
The overall aim of the Day is to have enhanced global understanding of patient safety, increased public engagement in health care safety, and promote global action to prevent and reduce avoidable harm in health care.
Each year a theme is selected to shed light on a priority area critical to patient safety and ultimately the achievement of Universal Health Coverage 2030.
The theme selected for World Patient Safety Day 2021 is “Safe maternal and newborn care.” This is due to the significant burden of risks and harm women and newborns are exposed to when receiving unsafe care during childbirth. Despite the significant progress made in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, the SDG 3 targets are still far from being achieved.
Dr. Martin Ssendyona the Acting Commissioner of Health Services-SCAPP-D Ministry of Health says that since maternity care is also affected by issues of gender equity and violence, women’s experiences during childbirth have the potential to either empower or to inflict damage and emotional trauma on them.
“This year’s campaign slogan ‘Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!’ calls on all stakeholders to accelerate the actions necessary for ensuring safe and respectful childbirth. It is envisaged that the momentum generated by World Patient Safety Day 2021 will revamp stakeholders’ efforts to achieve universal health coverage for all women and newborns and ultimately the maternal and newborn SDG 3 targets” he said.
The Objectives of the campaign include; Raising awareness on the issues of maternal and newborn safety, particularly during childbirth, engaging multiple stakeholders, and adopt effective and innovative strategies to improve maternal and newborn safety.
Other objectives are to; call for urgent and sustainable actions by all stakeholders to scale up efforts, reach the unreached and ensure safe maternal and newborn care, particularly during childbirth and advocate the adoption of the best practices at the point of care, to prevent avoidable risks and harm to all women and newborns during childbirth.
Some of the planned activities leading to the day include; Raising awareness on the issues of maternal and newborn safety, particularly during childbirth, a week of media engagement, events like lighting up Jinja bridge on 16th September the eve of the event, decoration of Mulago National Women Specialized Hospital and a series of Webinars.