By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Ministry of Health and partners have commemorated the World Patients Safety Day on 17th September, 2023, with the theme “Engaging Patients for safety.”
The Director of Reproductive and Health Care, Ministry of Health, Dr. Tom Sesay, in his keynote address, said it was no mistake that the occasion was celebrated at the Princes Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) and Ola During.
He said the occasion reflects the continuum of care and life stages approach to service delivery that the MOH was promoting in recognition of the vital role that patients, families and caregivers play in the safety of healthcare.
“We can make our clients more comfortable and to better appreciate their experience when they pass through our hospitals. We can demonstrate more empathy because we are all patients or potential patients,” he said.
He admonished medical practitioners to continue to work together, share knowledge and implement innovative solutions to ensure that no patient is harmed while seeking healthcare.
“We know if we work together and invest in patient safety we can positively impact health outcomes of reducing maternal and new born mortality. I would like to thank the National Quality Management Programme under my directorate, our partners who have always stood by us and all other stakeholders who made this possible,” he said.
Program Manager, National Quality Management Programme Directorate, MoHS, Margaret Titty Mannah, said evidence showed that when patients are consulted and informed about the decisions concerning their care, significant gains are made concerning safety and patient satisfaction.
She said the improved health outcomes with reasonable parameters, patients are afforded the space to engage with the healthcare team, the safety of their care and that of the healthcare system as a whole is enhanced.
She said regarding the various interventions, it was initiated in 2017 by engaging People Living with HIV (PLWHIV) as experts in care.
She stated that health education sessions are held regularly at health facilities to ensure that patients acquire important information about healthcare services and learn how to manage their well-being better.
“The Ministry has also established a Consumer Involvement Curriculum to enable meaningful contact with patients.”
The perspectives they have provided, she said, have proven invaluable, thereby contributing to the attainment of significant milestones by Namibia in the national HIV/AIDS response.