Speak up for Patient Safety!

Recognizing patient safety as a global health priority, 194 countries came together to establish 17 September as ‘World Patient Safety Day’ at the 72nd World Health Assembly. On this day, every year, WHO and its member states will spotlight patient safety to increase public awareness and engagement; enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action.

Why Patient Safety is so important?

Patient Safety means that no one should be harmed in healthcare. WHO (World Health Organization) statistics reflects that, 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low-and middle income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually.  Adverse events following hospitalization are the 14th leading cause of death and injury globally. Research has shown that upto 18% of hospital admissions in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are associated with adverse events and 83% are preventable. In Pakistan, medical errors alone are the 8th leading cause of deaths and it is estimated that about 7000 people per year die due to this reason.

“World Patient Safety Day-WPSD” in Pakistan

September 17, 2019 marks the first ever day in history to commemorate ‘World Patient Safety Day’. This is being observed across the globe including Pakistan with the slogan, “Speak up for Patient Safety”. The patient safety is a growing concern for the societies at large, and a major challenge for all health systems globally, especially for Pakistan. Fundamental principle of healthcare quality is to ensure patient safety, which is defined as, ‘the absence of preventable harm and the reduction of risk of unnecessary harm, injury and errors in healthcare to an acceptable minimum’.

The objectives of WPSD are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by Member States and all stakeholders to improve patient safety. Therefore the campaign aims to mobilize patients, health workers, policymakers, academics, researchers, professional networks and the health-care industry to speak up for patient safety.

GIHQ Contribution for Patient Safety

Global Institute of Healthcare Quality (GHIQ), established with the aim to initiate a healthcare quality movement in Pakistan and subsequently in the region. The WPSD in Pakistan will help the nation to develop and demand for safer healthcare services by integrating continuous QI processes, procedures and improved practices in healthcare and therefore eliminate all forms of avoidable harms to patients.

GIHQ has developed a plan to observe WPSD in Pakistan in a way that demands maximum participation from people especially youth.  GIHQ realized the fact that Pakistan has largest percentage of young people in these years in the history. There is a need to aware the youth of Pakistan first. On the occasion of ‘World Patient Safety Day’, GIHQ joins global campaigns of Patient Safety in Pakistan, and introduces Poster & Essay Competition for the youth and students of colleges and universities of Islamabad & Rawalpindi. The posters and essays therefore, should focus on the aim of global campaign which are:

  • Raise awareness on patient safety issues/potential risks involved in medical care.
  • Encourage the development of systems and procedures that would eliminate all avoidable health care related harms that would put patients to a risk
  • Highlight specific patient safety themes such as Medication Safety, Education and Training in Patient Safety, Reporting and learning systems, Patient Engagement, etc.
  • Raise awareness in Pakistan where people are merely known about their rights as patient while seeking healthcare. Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers.

Information composed & compiled by Dr. Uzma Anjum & Dr. Munazza Haris

Note: Poster & Essay Competitions have been officially announced on 9.09.2019 and email sent to most of colleges & universities in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and deadline for submission of entries is 25.09.2019. Youth from any forum are also welcomed to participate in the contest. Pls. write to us at to get details.

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One thought on “Speak up for Patient Safety!

  1. Mashal Aziz Rana

    To be doctor was not my dream but when I saw people suffering in the hospitals my heartaches & finally now I found out a platform where we can join hands to help our people help our patients.

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