World Patient Safety Day 2021

Friday, 17 September 2021

Theme: Safe maternal and newborn care

With the world still facing the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequities that surfaced as a result, the most vulnerable and marginalized populations are being disproportionately affected not only due to the direct effects of the pandemic and lack of access to vaccines, but also due to the disruption of the most essential health services.
Unfortunately, women and newborns, are amongst these groups. Even before the pandemic, approximately 810 women and 7000 newborns died daily, with the causes occurring mainly around the time of childbirth. About 2 million babies were also stillborn every year, with over 40% occurring during labour. Most of these deaths and stillbirths are avoidable through the provision of safe and quality care by skilled health care professionals working in supportive environments. 

In response, the theme selected for World Patient Safety Day 2021 is “Safe maternal and newborn care”. Since maternity care is also affected by issues of gender equity and violence, women’s experiences during childbirth have the potential to either empower or to inflict damage and emotional trauma on them. Therefore, this year’s campaign slogan – “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!” – calls on all stakeholders to accelerate the actions necessary for ensuring safe and respectful childbirth. Collectively, we can make maternal and newborn safety a global health priority, and we call upon your full cooperation to fulfil this endeavour.

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