In a bid to promote patient safety best practices, the federal government has introduced the inaugural National Policy and Implementation Strategy on Patient Safety and Care Quality.
The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Daju Kachollom, made this known yesterday at a press briefing to commemorate the 2023 World Patient Safety Day, themed ‘Engaging the Voice of Patients’, in Abuja.
She said, “This National Policy aligns with Resolution 18 of the 55th World Health Assembly (WHA 55.18), which urges Member States to acknowledge the importance of patient safety and establish policies to manage it.
“It places a strong focus on enhancing patient and family engagement in healthcare, ensuring medication safety, improving surgical procedures, enhancing infection prevention and control, and ensuring the safety of all medical procedures, among other aspects.”
Daju emphasised that patient safety involves preventing errors and minimising harm during healthcare provision, adding that this year’s theme underscores the active role patients play in their healthcare journey, not merely as recipients but as engaged participants.
She reiterated the ministry’s commitment to providing safer and higher-quality healthcare services to Nigerians.
“This commitment is approached through a four-point agenda: improving health quality, population health outcomes, medical industrialisation, and enhancing health security,” she said.
Daju called upon patient advocacy groups, donors, development partners, State Ministries of Health, healthcare facility heads, educational and research institutions, as well as regulatory and professional bodies to collaborate with the government in ensuring that patient voices are heard and their concerns promptly addressed.
Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) African regional director, Dr Moeti Matshidiso, represented by Alex Chimbuaya, stressed the vital importance of involving patients in their care.
She said evidence indicates that patient engagement reduces healthcare errors, costs, and improves health outcomes, delivery, and quality of life.
“The WHO and its partners are dedicated to building capacity, networks, and providing guidance for empowering patients and families in matters of healthcare,” she added.