The World Day of the Sick is a global observance day established to draw public attention to problems that are faced by sick people worldwide.
Facts on patient safety: patient safety is a serious global public health issue. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. The harm can be caused by a range of errors or adverse events. Hospital infections affect 14 out of every 100 patients admitted.
There are an estimated 1.5 million different medical devices and over 10 000 types of devices available worldwide. The majority of the world’s population is denied adequate access to safe and appropriate medical devices within their health systems. More than half of low- and lower middle-income countries do not have a national health technology policy which could ensure the effective use of resources through proper planning, assessment, acquisition and management of medical devices.
An estimated 234 million surgical operations are performed globally every year. Surgical care is associated with a considerable risk of complications. Surgical care errors contribute to a significant burden of disease despite the fact that 50% of complications associated with surgical care are avoidable.
Pope John Paul II had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as early as 1991, an illness which was only disclosed later, and it is significant that he decided to create a World Day of the Sick only one year after his diagnosis. The Pope had written a great deal on the topic of suffering and believed that it was very much a salvific and redeeming process through Christ, as he indicated in his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris.
The World Day of the Sick is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church which was instituted on May 13, 1992 by Pope John Paul II. Beginning on February 11, 1993, it is celebrated every year on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, for all believers seeks to be "a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one’s suffering".
The feast of Lourdes was chosen because many pilgrims and visitors to Lourdes have reportedly been healed by intercessions of the Blessed Virgin. The pontiff was also fond of the sanctuary of Harissa in Lebanon.
Safety studies show that additional hospitalization, litigation costs, infections acquired in hospitals, disability, lost productivity and medical expenses cost some countries as much as US$ 19 billion annually. The economic benefits of improving patient safety are therefore compelling.
Patient and community engagement and empowerment are key. People’s experience and perspectives are valuable resources for identifying needs, measuring progress and evaluating outcomes. Hospital partnerships can play a critical role.
Source: wikipedia.org | who.int