The World Health Organization, WHO has disclosed that more than 41,000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 across Africa region accounting for 3.8% of all reported cases. According to the organization some countries, like Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire have made progress in reducing the proportion of health worker infections and other countries like Eritrea, Rwanda and Seychelles have not recorded a single case of COVID-19 among health workers.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, to commemorate the World Patient Safety Day said Front-line health workers are at greater risk of infection because of the care they provide to patients. “To protect health workers from COVID-19 and contribute to enhanced patient safety, in collaboration with partners and national and provincial authorities, WHO has trained more than 50 000 health workers in the African Region in infection prevention and control, with plans to train over 200 000 more.
Around 31 million items of personal protective equipment have been shipped to Member States and guidance documents on best care practices are in-development, to support the creation of enabling environments for safe health workers and safe patients.” Moeti added, “Often the solutions to enhance patient safety are simple and cost-effective. For example, after a Quality Management Unit was established in Sierra Leone, deaths among children in 13 high burden hospitals dropped from 15.6 percent in 2017 to 9.6 percent in 2019.
“Patient safety is an essential component in strengthening health systems to achieve universal health coverage, and achieving it requires collaboration and open communication between multidisciplinary health-care teams, patients and patients’ organizations, professional associations, and other stakeholders. “Action is needed to understand the magnitude of patient harm, including through transparent incident reporting to learn from mistakes with no-fault and no-blame handling of adverse events.