At the 5th Ministerial Summit... Sierra Leone's Deputy Health Minister Delineates Government's Commitment to Patient Safety
Montreux, Switzerland, Friday 24 2023 - In a bid to showcase the numerous healthcare activities ongoing in Sierra Leone through the leadership of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Princess Dugba, has indicated that the government has taken significant steps in promoting the implementation of Patient Safety in collaboration with its Partners since October 2020 when Sierra Leone joined other countries to commemorate the World Patient Safety Day to ensure that patients receive safe, effective, quality healthcare service delivery at the 5th Global Ministerial Summit that took place from 23 to 24 February in Montreux, Switzerland.
"WHO global Patient Safety Action plan to increase public awareness and engagement and to enhance global understanding has been fully endorsed by Sierra Leone. In addition, my Country also fully endorses the Montreux Charter on patient safety “Less Harm, Better Care-from Resolution to Implementation”, she noted.
The Deputy Minister said Sierra Leone under President Julius Maada Bio has a strong Political and Administrative commitment in executing mechanisms that are geared towards promoting patient safety initiatives to efficiently and effectively implement the Seven Frame Work of Global Patient Safety Action Plan for 2021-2030. She added that the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has developed a Patient Safety Policy and created a functional Directorate of Hospitals Inspection within the MOHs charged with the task of inspecting and monitoring all healthcare facilities in the country to ensure that the well-being of patients are protected. The Health Ministry has also launched the National Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Policy along with the Quality of Care Strategic Road map.
The Deputy Health Minister disclosed that, Sierra Leone has made significant gains in reducing maternal mortality rate from 717 to 300/100,000 live-births, infant mortality rate from 75 to 28/1000 live-births, adolescent birth rate from 102 to 50/1000 live-births, and increased life expectancy from 54-58 years.
"The Ministry through the Expanded Program on Immunization(EPI) and Patient Safety Monitoring Officers has also ensured that 70% of Sierra Leoneans which is estimated 3,508,653 has received the COVID-19 Vaccines, and at least 85% with a single (1) dose of the said vaccines", she said.
Madam Dugba informed the Summit that in a developing country like Sierra Leone, there is need for a resilient monitoring and evaluation Team to implement guidelines using multimodal strategies, training and monitoring feedback systems. Added that amidst the challenge of a constrained budget for implementing the polices within the road map developed, the Health Ministry plans to:
Secure and maintain funding for the recruitment, training and operationalizing of Patient Safety Officers that will cover the Primary (CHCs, BEMOCK facilities, CHPs), Secondary (Regional Hospitals) and Secondary (Tertiary referral Hospitals) health structures across the country.
National orientation/training of health workers on the subject matter, the popularization of the Patient Safety Global Action Plan and the raising of public awareness to all Sierra Leoneans.
The digitalization of medical customer services, medical records, medical processes and procedures
Capacitating and Posting of Patient Safety Officers at facility levels for regular monitoring and evaluation activities.
Develop a National Patient Safety Website with a Database to track progress, receive complaints and provide first hand redress mechanism to the patient whilst they are still anonymous. Etc.
The Deputy Health Minister emphasised that Sierra Leone is highly committed to ensuring the Global standards connected to Patient Safety and Quality Medical Care is achieved at its fullest capacities and calls on development partners and humanitarian bodies across the board, to support the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with needed technical and financial resource in a bid to achieve this laudable Global goal.
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