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Switzerland to host 5th global ministerial summit on patient safety

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

Health ministers and experts from across the globe will from the 23rd to the 24th of this month converge in Montreux, Switzerland for the 5th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), adverse events caused by a lack of patient safety are among the ten most frequent causes of death and disability worldwide.

It is in this context that global experts and health ministers meeting in Switzerland are expected to discuss measures to strengthen patient safety.

Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach says the summit will provide an opportunity for countries to come up with ways of improving patient safety.

“It is an important conference and it’s very important that the Honourable Vice President received an invitation from the President of the Swiss Confederation to attend this particular conference on patient safety. This is a conference which will bring together delegates from over 80 delegations including many from Africa. 

“The whole purpose of the summit is to ensure that medical care and the quality of medical care given to patients if they go for medical treatment at hospitals or at clinics needs to be significantly ramped up. There are so many cases of people going to check-in into hospitals and clinics to seek treatment for this or that particular ailment and they end up contracting other diseases because the care and the quality or hygiene is not adequate,” he noted.

Zimbabwe’s delegation will be led by Vice President General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister.

The summit will provide a useful and timely opportunity to share Zimbabwe’s own experiences, and efforts to improve overall patient safety within the context of the National Quality Assurance thrust as enunciated in the National Health Strategy.

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