WHO celebrates ‘World Patient Day’
September 17, marks the day when the world celebrates patients who suffer from various illnesses with this year presenting its uniqueness where patients have avoided health facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional disturbances, illness and even death.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), working in stressful environments makes health workers more prone to errors which can lead to patient harm, therefore, the World Patient Safety Day 2020.
What is World Patient Safety Day about?
Recognizing patient safety as a global health priority, all 194 WHO Member States at the 72nd World Health Assembly, in May 2019, endorsed the establishment of World Patient Safety Day to be marked annually on 17 September.
The objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.
The origin of the Day is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine – First, do no harm.
Working in stressful environments has exacerbated safety risks for health workers, including being infected and contributing to outbreaks in the health care facility, having limited access or adherence to personal protective equipment and other infection prevention and control measures.
During these unprecedented times, a combination of virtual and other activities is being planned by WHO to observe and celebrate the Day. The signature mark of the global campaign is to light up iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in orange colour, in collaboration with local authorities. This will also be a gesture of respect and gratitude to all health workers.