World Patient Safety Day is marked every year on 17th September. The origin of the day is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine – First, to not harm.
World Patient Safety Day aims to raise global awareness about patient safety and calls for solidarity and united action by all countries and international partners to reduce patient harm.
The day calls for urgent and sustainable actions by all stakeholders to scale up efforts, reach the unreached and ensure safe maternal and newborn care, particularly during childbirth.
The day also advocates the adoption of best practices at the point of care to prevent avoidable risks and harm to all women and newborns during childbirth.
The theme for the year 2021 is “Safe maternal and newborn care”.
In May 2019, the 72nd World Health Assembly established World Patient Safety Day following the adoption of resolution WHA72.6 on ‘Global action on patient safety’.
This global campaign builds on a series of annual Global Ministerial Summits on Patient Safety initiated in 2016, as well as the high-level advocacy and commitment of major international and national stakeholders.
The resolution recognizes patient safety as a global health priority and promotes the objectives of World Patient Safety Day, namely to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action to progress patient safety.
During the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a combination of virtual and other activities are being planned by WHO to observe and celebrate the Day in September 2021. The signature mark of the global campaign is to light up iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in the colour orange.
WHO calls upon all stakeholders – governments, nongovernmental organizations, professional organizations, civil society, patient organizations, academia and research institutes – to join the global campaign by lighting up iconic monuments in orange, and organizing international, national and local activities and events on and around 17 September 2021.