Tag Archives: United States

African Partnerships for Patient Safety

We hear a lot about patient safety here in the United States, but did you know patient safety is also a priority in Africa? The World Health Organization’s African Partnerships for Patient Safety (APPS) has prioritized patient safety by pairing African hospitals with hospitals in England, France, and Switzerland. Currently 14 African countries are a part of the APPS program. These pairings allow frontline health workers to exchange ideas and experiences to improve patient safety on both continents. Dr. Shams Syed (@Shams_Syed), the program manager over the African Partnerships for Patient Safety was recently interviewed on United Nations Radio about the partnership, its goals, and purpose.

“In the African region we recognize, although data is sparse, patient safety is a huge issue,” said Syed during the interview. “When patients come into African hospitals they face challenges in patient safety that lead to harm.” When asked about the types of challenges these patients experience he referenced patients picking up infections in hospitals and patients experiencing surgery complications that arise from medical error. While these are global patient safety problems APPS places a particular emphasis on enabling hospitals in developing African countries to learn from European countries and vice versa. In fact, Syed emphasized that the learning is not unilateral, but multidirectional.

One of the hospitals Syed mentioned is Kisiizi Hospital in rural Uganda that is currently partnered with Chester Hospital in England. Due to the effectiveness of the APPS partnership Kisiizi Hospital now has its own infection control professional and the health workers in England learned new ways of problem solving and communication.

“Sharing and learning flows in both directions,” says Sarah Hoyle, program lead at Chester in a World Health Organization feature about APPS. “We have learned a lot from working with our colleagues in Africa. In particular, this has focused competencies in team work, communication skills as well as problem solving.

While there are several instances where the African Partnerships for Patient Safety works well Syed does admit there are some challenges, especially when hospitals – senior leadership and frontline workers both – are not fully on board with the program. He did emphasize that once all of a hospital’s workers get on board, the outcomes and sustainability of the program increases.

“One of the things that we recognized is that sustainability will only occur if it is owned by the hospitals,” Syed said. “When senior leadership has been heavily involved and fully committed to the partnership that has allowed sustainability to be inbuilt within the initial activities”.

The African Partnerships for Patient Safety continually updates its tools, education, and training as more information and experience-sharing happens in the field. You can listen to Dr. Syed’s full interview on United Nations Radio and also visit the APPS web site at www.who.int/patientsafety/en.

Photo: Mom Bloggers for Social Good / Jennifer James

One Million Health Workers Slated to be Trained in Sub-Saharan Africa

While traveling on a long, remote road to a village in southern Ethiopia we noticed the vast amount of dust and sand covering the trees. Every person walking along the road wore a head scarf to keep the swirl of dust out of their eyes and mouths. But most importantly, the road was long – possible twenty miles – all uphill to the nearest street from the village that is nestled squarely, yet pristinely in the valley. The road was extensive even for a ride in a SUV.

Can you imagine trying to walk this road when giving birth?

You would be astonished by the range of long distances people are from their closest health clinic or hospital in developing countries. Every Mother Counts did a superb job of bringing that fact to life in their video, The Walk. Do give it a look. For many who live in rural areas in poor and middle-income countries frontline health workers are their only chance of receiving much-needed health care from vaccines and malaria treatment to maternal health and infant deliveries.

Yesterday at the World Economic Forum Director of the Earth Institute and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, and CEO of Novartis Joseph Jimenez announced the training of one million health workers in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The campaign will transform health care delivery across the continent and help some of the world’s poorest nations meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals,” said Sachs. “We are proud to be working with Novartis to launch this campaign and to work with African leaders to develop huge new cadres of community health workers to reach the rural populations.”

Frontline health workers form the backbone of health services for developing countries. Without them, most people would have no access to health care. You can read more about the one million health workers initiative on www.1millionhealthworkers.org. You can also read more about the work of health workers and why they are so important to the lives of people who live in the poorest countries in the world.

Photo and video copyright: Social Good Moms

What Issues Matter to You Most? Tell the United Nations

My WorldThe United Nations, specifically the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Millennium Campaign, and some of its key partners, the Oversees Development Institute (ODI) and World Wide Web Foundation, have come together to create MY World, a global survey to gauge the personal interests and issues that matter most to people around the world from New York to Paris; from Sioux Falls to Rio. This new survey housed on myworld2015.org asks global citizens to choose 6 of the top 16 issue areas that mean the most to them and that will impact their lives post 2015.

Why is this survey critical?

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are slated to expire in 2015 and the global development community is gathering data and information to help set the course and  agenda for post 2015 global development. In fact, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet first in Monrovia, Liberia at the end of this month where the data findings will be presented. The survey results will become a part of the panel’s final report which will be delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in May 2013.

Take the quick survey here.

The sixteen issues are:

  1. Better job opportunities
  2. Support for people who can´t work
  3. A good education
  4. Better healthcare
  5. Affordable and nutritious food
  6. Phone and internet access
  7. Better transport and roads
  8. Access to clean water and sanitation
  9. Reliable energy at home
  10. Action taken on climate change
  11. Protecting forests, rivers and oceans
  12. Equality between men and women
  13. Protection against crime and violence
  14. Political freedoms
  15. An honest and responsive government
  16. Freedom from discrimination and persecution

UN Photo/UNHCR/Glenna Gordon

Vote to Honor US Health Workers

traSave the Children along with Frontline Health Workers Coalition has created the REAL Awards where deserving United States-based health workers will be honored for the sacrifice and commitment they exhibit through their work. The nominations are in and the voting period has started. In fact, voting ends on January 7, 2013.

The Real Awards will honor and celebrate health workers in the following categories:

Winners will be announced on January 15 after voting ends on the January 7. You can vote once per day until the 7th.

Cast your vote at www.therealawards.com/vote for deserving health workers.

Photo: The REAL Awards

Do You Know an Amazing Health Worker?

Health workers are typically the unsung heroes around the world. They help women deliver their babies in health facilities, they treat babies who are too weak to thrive and even care for wounded civilians during time of war. Health workers assess our problems and patch us up the best they know how. And in developing countries where health workers are vital to the survival of communities their work is even more critical.

Save the Children along with Frontline Health Workers Coalition have created the REAL Awards where deserving United States-based health workers will be honored for the sacrifice and commitment they exhibit through their work.

If there is a doctor or nurse who inspires you be sure to nominate them for the REAL Awards. The deadline is today, November 29 – not too late to show someone you appreciate that you care.

Read more at www.therealawards.com/nominate.

Photo: Save the Children