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Found 48 results
  1. News Article
    Five million children worldwide died before their fifth birthday in 2021, with almost half (47%) dying during their first month, according to new UN figures. Most of the deaths could have been prevented with better healthcare, say campaigners, adding that deaths among newborn babies haven’t reduced significantly since 2017. Children born in sub-Saharan Africa are 15 times more likely to die in childhood than children in Europe and North America. UN figures also show that 1.9 million babies were stillborn during 2021, more than three-quarters (77%) in sub-Saharan Africa and in south Asia. The risk of a woman having a stillborn baby in sub-Saharan Africa is seven times greater than for women in Europe and North America. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 January 2022
  2. Content Article
    Key findings Almost everywhere in the world, a child born today has a better chance at surviving to age 5 than in 1990, but inequities persist among and within countries Divergent chances of survival start from the earliest ages Globally and across all regions, the probability of dying between the ages of 5 and 24 is lower than for children under 5 years old, yet more than 2 million children, adolescents and youth aged 5—24 died in 2021
  3. News Article
    The World Health Organization has published its first ever list of lethal fungal infections that represent a threat to public health. Experts have noticed an increase in deadly fungal disease, with drug-resistant bacterial infections now responsible for roughly 1.27 million deaths every year. “Fungal pathogens are a major threat to public health as they are becoming increasingly common and resistant to treatment,” WHO said. The types of fungal infections listed often affect severely ill patients and those with significant underlying problems with their immune system, including people with cancer, HIV or AIDs, organ transplants, chronic respiratory disease or tuberculosis. “Emerging from the shadows of the bacterial antimicrobial resistance pandemic, fungal infections are growing, and are ever more resistant to treatments, becoming a public health concern worldwide,” said Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO assistant director-general, antimicrobial resistance, said. In its new report, the WHO warns that there is only limited access to quality diagnostics and treatment for these developing fungal diseases. Medicines are often unavailable in low and middle income countries, leading to increased deaths among these populations. One deadly fungal pathogen, Candida auris, which is resistant to multiple drugs, is particularly difficult to eradicate from hospitals - even with intensive infection prevention measures, the WHO said. This means hospital wards often have to be shut down for prolonged periods of time when Candida auris is detected. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 October 2022
  4. News Article
    Efforts by pharmaceutical companies to tackle global insulin inequity are “fragmented” and “falling short,” with many people with diabetes around the world still not having access to the drug. A report by the Access to Medicine Foundation examined access schemes run by the three main insulin manufacturers—Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. It found that despite the programmes they run, access to the treatment is still severely limited or lacking in many low and middle income countries (LMICs). By 2030, the number of people with diabetes worldwide is expected to reach 643 million, with the numbers rising most rapidly in LMICs. The analysis reported that over the past decade pharmaceutical companies have carried out a “patchwork of approaches” that were often focused on a small number of countries or based around particular types of products or specific patient populations. It noted that most of the strategies had not guaranteed “sustained access for insulin dependent patients requiring ongoing, lifelong treatment” and most of the affordability schemes have been primarily focused on human insulins, with only a few for analogue products. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 11 October 2022
  5. Event
    Medication-related harm accounts for up to half of the overall preventable harm in medical care. Patients in low- and middle-income countries are twice more likely to experience preventable medication harm than patients in high-income countries. Considering this huge burden of harm, “Medication Safety” has been selected as the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022. To commemorate the day, WHO is organizing a Global Virtual Event, calling on all stakeholders to join efforts globally for “Medication Without Harm”. During the event, stakeholders will discuss medication safety issues within the strategic framework of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, including 1) Patients and the public, 2) Health and care workers, 3) Medicines, and 4) Systems and practices of medication. Interpretations will be available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Register for the webinar Save the date-flyer_Global Virtual Event WPSD 2022_15 September 2022.pdf
  6. News Article
    A new fixed-dose combination (FDC) of “3HP”, a short-course tuberculosis (TB) preventive treatment (TPT) combining two drugs, rifapentine and isoniazid, is starting to be rolled out in five TB high burden countries in Africa. This will reduce the number of pills that people who need the treatment have to take every week from nine to three. Enough treatments for up to 3 million patients are expected to be made available for eligible countries this year. Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe will be the first countries out of a total of 12 to provide the new regimen at a US$15 price thanks to funding from Unitaid, PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Read full story Source: Unitaid, 3 February 2021
  7. Event
    Patient safety is a critical global public health issue and is essential if health systems are to advance and achieve universal health coverage (UHC). Every year, an inadmissible number of patients are harmed or die because of unsafe and poor-quality healthcare, exerting a very high global burden especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Even before the pandemic, 1 in 10 patients in high-income countries were harmed from safety lapses during their hospital care. This number is greater in LMICs where adverse events in healthcare contribute to around 2.6 million hospital deaths each year. With the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, patient safety has become an even more crucial area for international cooperation. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland invites you to join a high-level event on patient safety, co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, to: Illustrate the scale and significant burden of avoidable harm in healthcare globally and its impact on patients, families, healthcare workers, health system finances, communities and societies. Advocate a vision for eliminating avoidable harm in healthcare and demonstrate the need to prioritise patient safety as a global health priority, including by supporting strategic patient safety initiatives. Advocate for all countries to designate patient safety officers responsible for the coordination of patient safety implementation at national and facility levels. Register
  8. Content Article
    The 17 September marks World Patient Safety Day, and this year the focus is on ‘Safe maternal and newborn care’. Patient Safety Learning has recently published a blog highlighting and summarising this topic.[1] While issues of unsafe care are a global challenge, they disproportionately impact on low- and middle-income countries. 134 million adverse events occur in hospitals every year in such countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths.[2] Research in patient safety has primarily been associated with high income countries, but more recently there has been greater attention on low- and middle-income countries due to the global awareness of the need to improve patient safety standards for all patients, including maternal care.[3] Worldwide, around 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017.[4] Approximately 810 women and 6,700 newborns die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.[5] These global statistics are shocking and highlight the attention that is needed to address maternal safety. Of all the global maternal deaths, 94% occur in low- and middle-income countries.[4] This reflects inequalities in access to quality health services and highlights the global gap between rich and poor.[3] Of the many health statistics monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the largest gap between rich and poor nations is seen in maternal mortality levels.[7] Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia accounted for approximately 86% of the estimated global maternal deaths in 2017.[4] Adolescent girls are more likely than older women to die due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; this is the leading cause of death for adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries.[8] Infants also suffer greatly – of the approximate 8 million infant deaths each year, around two-thirds occur in the first month of life in low income countries.[6] Moreover, about 2 million babies are stillborn every year, with over 40% occurring during labour.[5] Maternal deaths occur as a result of complications that can transpire during and following pregnancy and childbirth, most of which are preventable or treatable.[4] The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths include severe bleeding after childbirth, infections and pre-eclampsia.[4] Additionally, for every woman who dies, at least 30 others are injured, often in disabling and socially devastating ways.[8] For example, obstetrical fistula is common in poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where access to maternal health services is limited.[9] Most of neonatal and perinatal deaths are the result of poor maternal health and inadequate care during pregnancy and delivery and the critical immediate postpartum period.[6] The main factors that prevent women from receiving or seeking care during pregnancy and childbirth in low- and middle-income countries are poverty, distance to facilities, lack of information, inadequate and poor-quality services, and cultural beliefs/practices.[4] For instance, 35% of Senegalese women who live in rural areas deliver their children at home, often without a skilled midwife or birth attendant present, which poses dangers to both mother and child.[7] Care by trained staff is vital in preventing maternal deaths in low-income countries, yet only about half of births in such countries occur in health facilities.[9] Poor person-centred maternity care (PCMC) is one of the main factors driving both the low proportions of facility-based deliveries and high maternal mortality.[8] There is also a strong connection between the low societal status of women in low income countries and the risk of maternal illness and death.[6] The reality is that most maternal deaths are preventable, as the healthcare solutions to prevent or manage complications before, during and after childbirth are well recognised. It is particularly important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals because timely management and correct treatment can preserve the life of both mother and baby.[4] To improve maternal health in low- and middle-income countries, barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services must be identified and addressed at both health system and societal levels.[4] While additional resources are essential to patient safety improvement in low-income settings, such resources on their own will not be enough to secure the changes needed.[9] Recognising the scale of this problem, improving maternal health is now one of WHO’s key priorities.[6] Whilst many other health indicators have improved over the last two decades, maternal mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries have remained high and progress in reducing maternal and newborn mortality has been very slow.[8] Unsafe maternal care represents a serious and considerable danger to patients in low income countries – primarily due to scarce resources, weak infrastructure, cultural beliefs and limited skilled professionals – hence it should be a high priority public health problem that needs drastic attention.[10] References Patient Safety Learning. Safe maternal and newborn care: World Patient Safety Day 2021. The G20 Health and Development Partnership and RLDatix. The Overlooked Pandemic: How to transform patient safety and save healthcare systems, 2021. Elmontsri M, Banarsee R, Majeed A. Improving patient safety in developing countries – moving towards an integrated approach. JRSM Open, 2020; 9(11). World Health Organization. Maternal mortality, 2019. World Health Organization. World Patient Safety Day 2021, 2021. Donnay, F. Maternal survival in developing countries: what has been done, what can be achieved in the next decade. Gynecology & Obstetrics, 2000; 70(1). Plan International. What pregnancy looks like in 10 developing countries, 2018. Rosenfield A, Min C, Freedman L. Making Motherhood Safe in Developing Countries. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 356:1395-1397. Aveling E, et al. Why is patient safety so hard in low-income countries? A qualitative study of healthcare workers’ views in two African hospitals. BMC, 2015; 11(6). Wilson R, et al. Patient safety in developing countries: retrospective estimation of scale and nature of harm to patients in hospital. BMJ, 2012; 344.