WHO / WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAY

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17-Sep-2020 00:04:14
Marking World Patient Safety Day, the World Health Organization released a ‘Health Worker Safety Charter’ calling on governments and healthcare leaders to take action to better protect health workers and patients. WHO

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STORY: WHO / WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAY
TRT: 4:14
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, WHO headquarters exterior

17 SEPTEMBER 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“One of the keys to keeping patients safe is keeping health workers safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us of the vital role health workers play to relieve suffering and save lives. We all owe health workers an enormous debt – not just because they have cared for the sick. But because they risk their own lives in the line of duty.”
4. Wide shot, officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Globally, around 14 per cent of COVID-19 cases reported to WHO are among health workers, and in some countries it’s as much as 35 per cent; although data are limited and it’s hard to know whether health workers are infected in their workplaces or communities. It’s not just the risk of infection. Every day, health workers are exposed to stress, burnout, stigma, discrimination and even violence.”
6. Wide shot, officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremy Hunt, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, United Kingdom:
“Catching COVID-19 in a healthcare setting should be a never event, something that simply never happens because both patients and staff have a right to be safe and to expect to be safe when they go to a hospital or healthcare setting. So, today's charter and five goals will help make that happen. Those goals, as you said Dr. Tedros, are to reduce sharp injuries, collect data on safety related deaths, reduce workplace stress and burnout, improve personal protection practices and adopt zero tolerance of violence towards healthcare staff.”
8. Wide shot, officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO):
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the obvious and close interaction between our health and the work that we do. In responding to it, we do not have to choose between work and health or life and livelihood. These are propositions that we share, Director-General. We know that these two aspects depend intimately on each other, and despite the complex policy challenges that this raises it's a basic truth.”
10. Wide shot, officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Frontline workers are working under immense pressure, under immense strain and they're extremely courageous. The least we can do is give them the tools, the training and the environments in which they can do that work at the safest possible level. Because when you feel safe, you do better. When you feel safe, your performance increases. That's what we want, highly performant, highly skilled health workers, operating in an environment where they can turn all of their knowledge into solutions for their patients. If they're concerned about their safety, if they're worried about that, they will not perform as well.”
12. Wide shot, officials at press conference
13. Edward Kelley, Director, Integrated Health Services, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Most of the world's problems are solved by primary health care and by community services that are given. So, the countries right now WHO is spending, pivoting a bit, we still have lots of areas of this outbreak we don't understand that we're doing more work and more guidance, the science that Maria (Van Kerkhove) mentioned. But we are trying to pivot to look more directly at how we can support countries in the work and this has to be probably one of the top priorities: How can we support the delivery of community health services and primary care in the context of COVID?”
14. Wide shot, officials at press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Some of the negative impacts of this pandemic are definitely being driven because we do not invest enough in frontline community health and in public health and in primary health care. And it is the bedrock. Dr. Tedros says it all the time, primary health care is the bedrock of universal health coverage. And our public health nurses and our public health doctors or public health midwives are the bedrock of that system as well.”

STORYLINE:

Marking World Patient Safety Day, the World Health Organization released a ‘Health Worker Safety Charter’ calling on governments and healthcare leaders to take action to better protect health workers and patients.

Speaking today (17 Sep) at a press conference in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, “One of the keys to keeping patients safe is keeping health workers safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us of the vital role health workers play to relieve suffering and save lives. We all owe health workers an enormous debt – not just because they have cared for the sick. But because they risk their own lives in the line of duty.”

The ‘Health Worker Safety Charter’ calls on governments and those running health services at local levels to take five actions to better protect health workers. These include steps to protect health workers from violence; to improve their mental health; to protect them from physical and biological hazards; to advance national programmes for health worker safety; and to connect health worker safety policies to existing patient safety policies.

WHO said COVID-19 has exposed health workers and their families to unprecedented levels of risk. Although not representative, data from many countries across WHO regions indicate that COVID-19 infections among health workers are far greater than those in the general population.

SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Globally, around 14 per cent of COVID-19 cases reported to WHO are among health workers, and in some countries it’s as much as 35 per cent; although data are limited and it’s hard to know whether health workers are infected in their workplaces or communities. It’s not just the risk of infection. Every day, health workers are exposed to stress, burnout, stigma, discrimination and even violence.”

In addition to physical risks, the pandemic has placed extraordinary levels of psychological stress on health workers exposed to high-demand settings for long hours, living in constant fear of disease exposure while separated from family and facing social stigmatization. Before COVID-19 hit, medical professionals were already at higher risk of suicide in all parts of the world. A recent review of health care professionals found one in four reported depression and anxiety, and one in three suffered insomnia during COVID-19[1]. WHO recently highlighted an alarming rise in reports of verbal harassment, discrimination and physical violence among health workers in the wake of COVID-19.

SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Frontline workers are working under immense pressure, under immense strain and they're extremely courageous. The least we can do is give them the tools, the training and the environments in which they can do that work at the safest possible level. Because when you feel safe, you do better. When you feel safe, your performance increases. That's what we want, highly performant, highly skilled health workers, operating in an environment where they can turn all of their knowledge into solutions for their patients. If they're concerned about their safety, if they're worried about that, they will not perform as well.”

In addition to the ‘Health Worker Safety Charter’, WHO also outlined specific World Patient Safety Day 2020 Goals for health care leaders to invest in, measure, and improve health worker safety over the next year. The goals are intended for health care facilities to address five areas: preventing sharps injuries; reducing work-related stress and burnout; improving the use of personal protective equipment; promoting zero tolerance to violence against health workers; and analyzing serious safety related incidents.
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unifeed200917a
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