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World Patient Safety Day 2021: Current Theme, Slogan, History, Objectives and Celebration

Shikha Goyal

World Patient Safety Day 2021: According to the WHO, approximately 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Further, every day, around 6700 newborns die, amounting to 47% of all under-5 deaths. 

This year, World Patient Safety Day is dedicated to the need to prioritise and address safety in maternal and newborn care, mainly at the time of childbirth, when most harm occurs.

Also, approximately 2 million babies are stillborn every year, with over 40% occurring during labour. Therefore, this year the campaign is more important as due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the significant burden of risks to women and newborns are exposed because of unsafe care occurred by the disruption of essential health services. 

Every year for this day a theme is selected to highlight the safety of patients to be on priority and action is needed to reduce avoidable harm in health care and achieve universal health coverage.

World Patient Safety Day 2021: Theme

The theme of World Patient Safety Day 2021 is "Safe maternal and newborn care”. The theme highlights that it is possible to avoid stillbirth, maternal and newborn deaths through the provision of safe and quality care with the help of skilled professionals working in supportive environments. This can only be achieved by the engagement of all stakeholders and acquiring comprehensive health systems and community-based approaches.

World Patient Safety Day 2021: Slogan

The slogan for the day is "Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!" WHO urges all stakeholders to “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!” 

World Patient Safety Day 2021: History

In 2019, it was established by the World Health Assembly through resolution WHA72.6 on “Global action on patient safety” and is observed on September 17 annually. 

World Patient Safety Day 2021: Objectives

- To raise awareness worldwide on the issues related to maternal and newborn safety, mainly during childbirth.

- Engage various stakeholders and adopt effective and new strategies to improve the safety of maternal and newborns.

- During childbirth, to promote the adoption of best practices for preventing avoidable risks and harm to all women and newborns.

- Sustainable actions are required to be taken up by the stakeholders to scale up the efforts, ensure safe maternal and newborn care, mainly at the time of childbirth.

World Patient Safety Day 2021: Celebration

WHO has planned several activities to celebrate the day by considering the continuing challenges of COVID-19. The signature of the campaign across the world is to light up iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in orange colour.

WHO urges all stakeholders, governments, nongovernmental organisations, professional organisations, civil society, academia, and research institutes, etc. to join the campaign globally and organising international, national, and local activities and events on and around September 17, 2021.

It is necessary to understand that with the provision of safe care, most lives can be saved.


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