Prioritise Patients’ Safety, HEFAMAA Tells Health Workers

Posted on: Fri 22-09-2023

The Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency in Lagos State has advised health workers to prioritise the safety of patients and minimise risk when providing care.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr Abiola Idowu, made the call at an event organised by HEFAMMA to mark the 2023 World Patient Safety Day with the theme, “Engaging patients for patient safety.”

The objectives of World Patient Safety Day celebrated on September 17 annually by the World Health Organisation are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action to promote patients’ safety.

Emphasising the need for patients to be treated as partners in their care, Idowu said, “The problem that unsafe care causes even in terms of social cost is enormous. About $1m to $3m is lost annually because of unsafe care, when there is an adverse effect after giving care to patients.

“Annually, at least 2.6 million deaths are reported globally resulting from unsafe care but the cases are more in the low and middle-income countries. If we are going to segregate the data according to countries, the one for Nigeria is very high but the data is not adequately segregated.

“When a patient seeks care, at least one out of every 10 patients has an adverse effect and so the figures are very alarming. This calls for  action.”

The wife of the Lagos State governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Medical Director of the General Hospital Ebute Metta, Dr Juliana Olunnuga, said patients’ safety was a joint responsibility of health care workers and the patient’s family.

In his submission, the Chairman of HEFAMAA, Dr Yemisi Solanke-Koya, said, “The patients desire a full recovery to pursue life to their fullest capacity without the limitation of poor health or any further compounding by incidents arising from the lack of attention to patient safety. Consequently, patients must be engaged throughout the totality of the health care terrain.”