Read a short note from Dr. Shoba Subramanian on World Patient Safety Day:

Today we celebrate World Patient Safety Day. A day which each year promotes the medical principle ‘first do no harm’.1 2021’s World Patient Safety Day focuses on the theme of ‘Safe maternal and newborn care’. Whilst approximately 810 women and 6,700 newborns die daily due to childbirth-related issues, most of these deaths are avoidable through the prioritisation of quality healthcare and supportive environments.2 For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted the slogan ‘Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!’ for this year’s World Patient Safety Day, encouraging active contributions to ‘accelerate the actions necessary’ for ensuring safe maternal and newborn care.3

To meet the goal of safe and respectful childbirth, action on all levels is required. The WHO calls for global awareness of childbirth problems and stresses that imminent and long-lasting actions are taken to guarantee that the potential harm towards mothers and their newborn children is minimised. To help raise awareness about the importance of safe maternal and newborn care, take part in some of the various activities that are happening today. Get involved in the initiative to light up buildings and public places with orange to alert people to the cause or help organise events that advocate safe childbirth practices. Or perhaps most importantly, simply talk to those around you about the issue to continue the conversation surrounding childbirth safety and highlight the need for urgent change.
- Dr. Shoba Subramanian, Medical Director, Europe, UnitedHealthcare Global