World Patient Safety Day (3) No patient safety without reliable healthcare information

17 September, 2021

There can be no patient safety without universal access to reliable healthcare information.

This year's theme is “Together for safe and respectful maternal and newborn care”.

The statistics say it all:

Every day:

- Nearly 5400 stillbirths occur

- 810 women lose their lives

- 6700 newborns lose their lives

Countless mothers and newborns would be saved every day, and even more would be spared needless suffering, if every person, every health worker, and every policymaker had access to the basic reliable healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible.

Here is an example from the HIFA website: 7 in 10 women giving birth in health facilities in Africa and South Asia were mismanaged during the 3rd stage of labour, predisposing them to postpartum haemorrhage. PPH kills more than 300 young women every day.

Another example is the common failure to give basic resuscitation to 'flat' newborns, leading to death and longterm disability.

On behalf of HIFA, we would like to identify other examples where lack of basic healthcare information and knowledge is associated with low quality care and maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,