Freetown, Sierra Leone – On Monday, September 18, 2023, healthcare professionals at the Princess Christiana Maternity Hospital (PCMH) and Ola During Hospital reiterated their unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of patients in their care.
This commitment was reaffirmed during a commemorative event held at PCMH Hospital on Fourah Bay Road in Freetown, marking World Patient Safety Day, under the theme “Engaging Patients for Patient Safety.”
Patient safety, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008, is the “absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of healthcare and the reduction of the risk of unnecessary harm associated with healthcare to an acceptable minimum.”
Over the years, Sierra Leone has witnessed numerous patient fatalities in various hospitals, often attributed to highly variable and frequently inappropriate care, which is perceived as unsafe. Contributing factors include healthcare worker fatigue, lack of teamwork, and system failures. However, the dedicated healthcare practitioners have resolved to provide high-quality and dignified healthcare to patients.
Matron Margaret Mannah, a Nurse and Midwife, emphasized that providing safety also extends to ensuring the well-being of healthcare providers themselves. She lamented the needless loss of Sierra Leonean lives due to a lack of care and urged nurses to approach their profession as a vocation that requires a genuine calling.
Mannah stated, “This profession is a vocation, and one needs to be called for one to practice it, for if not, patients will continue to die from preventable causes.”
Discussing the way forward, medical practitioners recommended rational prescription and use of medicines in accordance with guidelines, clear and legible prescription writing, effective communication during handovers, and more.
Fullah Mansaray, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at PCMH, echoed the commitment to providing quality and dignified healthcare while emphasizing the importance of self-empowerment among nurses to deliver optimal care to patients.
Dr Tom Sesay, Director of Reproductive and Child Health at PCMH, emphasized that patient safety is at the core of delivering quality healthcare in a compassionate manner. He underscored the collective responsibility of all healthcare providers in delivering care without harm, thereby reducing the occurrence of avoidable harm.
Dr Sesay stressed the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and regular evaluation of their work, emphasizing that healthcare practitioners should complement each other rather than compete.
As Sierra Leone’s healthcare professionals pledge their commitment to patient safety, they aim to transform the nation’s healthcare landscape, ensuring that every patient receives the care they deserve, free from preventable harm. SKS/19/9/2023