Safe maternal and new-born care in times of pandemic – FV responses to World patient safety day 2021

World Patient Safety Day is a WHO campaign to promote governments, organisations, businesses and individuals who influence health care systems to work together to improve safety and reduce harm from medical errors for patients. World Patient safety day was established by the World Health Assembly in 2019, selecting 17th September for the annual campaign to raise global awareness and to encourage community participation in the campaign. Accordingly, for many years, FV Hospital has respond to this campaign in many different ways, with the common goal of increasing public awareness of patient safety.

Given the difficulties we face during the epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City, plus the fact that FV Hospital is still serving in the frontline fighting against the epidemic, the hospital cannot physically hold activities in the hospital as is the normal practice. However, FV shall continue its promotion campaign, through Patient Safety Week virtual celebration from 15-22nd September. During that week, FV will provide information to patients, relatives and staff about this year’s event.

This year’s World Patient Safety Day, WHO has stipulated the theme “Safe maternal and child-care in times of pandemic”, to call on the world to take action for Maternal and New-born Safety issues, especially in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of great challenges that have arisen during these two years during the epidemic, the WHO hopes that governments, agencies and healthcare providers will organise combined activities utilising online platforms to bring the event message to reach as many people as possible.

Statistics show every day around the world, over 810 women preventable issues related to pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, every 24 hours, about 6,700 infants die, accounting for 47% of the mortality rate of children under 5 years old. The number is even higher when you include the two million babies that are stillborn each year, of which more than 40% occur during labour.

However, the vast majority of dangerous maternal and neonatal events are preventable, thanks to the provision of safe quality care, skilled medical staff, and the access to a fully supportive environment. The provision of these elements can only be achieved through the efforts of all stakeholders, including government, health organisations and society as a whole, with the goal of comprehensively improving the health systems and helping the community have better awareness of patient safety.

At this time when the COVID-19 epidemic is still strongly infecting people in more than 120 countries around the world, as well as here in Vietnam, the risks and harms to mothers and babies are greater still. Currently, essential medical services have been disrupted due to the pandemic response; leading to many situations where care is no longer as safe as is was previously. That is why this year’s World Patient Safety Day campaign has been identified by WHO as of special importance. Therefore, FV is working in parallel to providing COVID-19 treatment, continuing to support the care of pregnant women, new-borns and babies; as well as many inpatients. The hospital has always put the patient at the centre of all its activities and patient safety is always a top priority at FV.