The Federal Government has developed a National Policy and Implementation Strategy on Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality to improve the safety of all medical procedures and enhance the quality of healthcare delivery.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Kachollom Daju, said the policy is in line with resolution 18 of the 55th World Health Assembly which called for member states to recognise the burden of patient safety and to set up policies to manage them.
Daju spoke at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, in commemoration of the 2023 World Patient Safety.
“I’am delighted to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Health has just developed the first ever National Policy and Implementation Strategy on Patient Safety and Care Quality which was sent for stakeholders’ review last week Thursday and Friday,” she said.
According to the perm sec, the policy focuses on improving patient and family engagement in healthcare, medication safety, surgical safety, infection prevention and control, safety of all medical procedures among others.
She further stated that the federal government is hopeful that health facilities at all levels will adopt and implement this policy.
Daju added that patient safety fundamentally entails preventing errors and minimising harm to patients during provision of healthcare services.
Statistics show that in low-to-middle-income countries, four in 100 people die from unsafe care.
“Under the banner ‘Elevate the voice of patients’, the WHO calls upon 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 also expressed government’s commitment to provide safer and higher-quality health services to everyone in the country, and strengthening the healthcare system, and building trust among citizens.
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation, WHO, Country Representative, Walter Mulombo, said more than 50 per cent of the harm patients experience is preventable if concerted efforts and requisite investment are done.
Mulombo said a number of countries in the African region have developed and are implementing the policy including patient safety action plans as well as other safety interventions such as Infection Prevention and Control to make health care safer.
On his part, the Director of Hospital Services, Jimoh Salaudeen, urged stakeholders to take necessary action to ensure that patients are involved in policy formulation, represented in governance structures, engaged in co-designing safety strategies, and are active partners in their own care.