On 17 September each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Patient Safety Day.
The objectives of the day are to improve global understanding of patient safety, increase public commitment to health care safety and promote global action to prevent and reduce avoidable harm in health care. Each year, a new theme is selected to shed light on a priority area of patient safety where action is needed to reduce avoidable harm in healthcare and achieve universal health coverage.
The WHO’s chosen theme for 2021 is ‘safe maternal and newborn care’, an area of health care that needs special attention in terms of safety in light of the significant impact on physical and mental health status that women and newborns may be exposed to when receiving unsafe care.
Over the past year, maternal and newborn care worldwide has been particularly affected by the major reorganisation of health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
Increasing global awareness of maternal and newborn safety issues, involving more stakeholders and adopting effective and innovative strategies to improve maternal and newborn safety, strengthening the actions of policy makers, health workers and citizens to increase their value and impact, in order to ensure safe maternal and newborn care for all. These are some of the goals set by WHO for World Patient Safety Day 2021.
Since its inception, DREAM Sant’Egidio has always been attentive to these issues, suffice it to say that one of the main objectives of the programme is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by offering treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women and the mother-child couple. In addition, malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and lack of hygiene contribute significantly to infant mortality on the African continent, and here too the programme has always considered paediatric care to be of the utmost importance: it is an investment in Africa’s future.
Therefore, the DREAM programme joins the theme chosen by the WHO for World Patient Safety Day 2021, highlighting, now more than ever, the importance of patient care and healthcare, put to the test by the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.