On 7th and 8th September 2021, the Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN) with the support of Uganda Alliance of Patient Organisations (UAPO) and National Drug Authority (NDA) conducted sessions at two government health facilities. The two-day activity attracted 85 participants who included 40 health workers (doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians), 20 pregnant women/mothers, 5 men (husbands), and 20 Village Health Teams (VHTs) from Namulonge and Komamboga Health Center IIIs. The sessions were facilitated by Mrs. Regina Kamoga, WPA Founding Director and Executive Director of CHAIN, Dr. Victoria Nambasa, manager of the pharmacovigilance department at NDA and Dr. Helen Byomire Ndagije, the director of product safety at NDA officiated the events.
Regina welcomed the participants and briefed them about WPSD 2021 and its objectives. She emphasized the fact that patient safety is a global concern that requires everyone’s participation to ensure no one suffers from preventable harm. She informed them about the WHO’s efforts on patient safety including the 2021-2030 Global Patient Safety Action Plan, which provides strategic policy and implementation direction for key patient safety stakeholders. She encouraged the health workers to take every opportunity to gain knowledge and skills on patient safety. The mothers were also advised to always seek medical care early and get medication at recognized health facilities or pharmacies/drug stores.
CHAIN uses a community engagement model to deliver its programs. This year, CHAIN, with support from WPA commemorated the WPSD by conducted a dialogue with eight village health teams (VHT) and 12 midwives at the CHAIN offices in Kiwenda, Ugnada. The dialogue started with Regina Kamoga, WPA Founding Director and Executive Director of CHAIN introducing WPSD after which midwives and VHTs provided their views on safe maternal and new born care in their localities. Nathan Muyinda, Director EDCO led a discussion on the role of midwives and VHTs to ensure safe maternal & newborn care. Midwives and VHTs were urged to initiate community outreach programs for antenatal care and encourage pregnant women to attend. During these outreach events, midwives and VHTs can sensitize women to the benefits of antenatal care, all the way from the first to last weeks of pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies. They can be an opportunity to give more information to them on what they need both during the pregnancy and after childbirth, follow up on them after childbirth to ensure both mother and newborn are in good condition, and explain to them why they may be referred to other hospitals and that this is done in good faith and that they are not being chased away.