Botswana: Prioritise Patient Protection, Health Worker Safety

Francistown — There is need to build a culture that places patient protection and health worker safety at the apex of the healthcare system, says greater Francistown District Health Management Team coordinator, Ms Rose Munyere.

"We all have to appreciate that patient safety is cross-cutting and covers a wide range of healthcare issues ranging from governance, surgical safety, health acquired infections as well as medication errors," she said during the first commemoration of World Patient Safety Day in Francistown recently.

Ms Munyere said today's world was faced with challenges affecting patient safety initiatives thereby necessitating that appropriate and sustainable systems be put in place.

Currently, she said, COVID-19 had been a cause of emotional trauma and workforce burnout worldwide which had the potential to compromise patient safety measures.

Ms Munyere said the day's theme, Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety with the slogan, Speak up for health worker safety, was relevant particularly with the advent of COVID-19, presently one of the biggest challenges to face the world and humanity.

Noting that the theme reflected on the interrelationship between health worker protection and patient safety, she called on all members of the public and stakeholders to speak up for the protection of sector employees.

Ms Munyere explained that the commemoration was meant to raise awareness on the understanding of patient safety and commitment for the safety of health workers.

Patients and clients needed to voluntarily engage and take responsibility for their own wellbeing to minimise the number of safety-related accidents.

Citing incidents where health staff and patients were harassed at health facilities, Ms Munyere said the state of affairs had resulted in the formulation of systematic policies for patient protection and worker welfare.

Ms Munyere praised government's efforts to improve healthcare workers' safety through the provision and use of personal protective equipment to curb transmission of diseases such as COVID-19.

One patient, Ms Keitumetse Mompati, thanked health workers for their selfless efforts in ensuring access to health services amidst COVID-19.

She advised health workers to be mindful of their own safety while assisting patients.

Senior registered nurse, Ms Dudu Katlholo said love for patients drove her to assist and care for them despite challenges.

Source : BOPA

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