WHO Patient Safety Challenge “Medication Without Harm” (#MWH Pride)


Dr Maria-Pilar Astier-Peña (Pictured), chair of the WONCA Working Party on Quality and Safety has participated in an expert consultation concerning “Early global action to support implementation of the third WHO Patient Safety Challenge “Medication Without Harm” (#MWH Pride).

The meeting was held at WHO Headquarters, in Geneva, from December 11-13, 2017 and was led by Dr Neelam Dhingra-Kumar, coordinator of the WHO Patient Safety and Risk Management Department and Sir Liam Donaldson, WHO envoy for Patient Safety.

Medication Without Harm: The third WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge will propose solutions to address many of the obstacles the world faces today to ensure the safety of medication practices. WHO’s goal is to achieve widespread engagement and commitment of WHO Member States and professional bodies around the world to reducing the harm associated with medication. Medication Without Harm aims to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50%, globally in the next 5 years.

Experts from all over the world came to the meeting, to share ideas which could improve the implementation of ‘the Challenge’. They worked on evaluation tools and methodologies for measuring the progress and impact of ‘the Challenge’. They discussed indicators which could be considered for the assessment of the different pledges signed with national governments, healthcare organizations, scientific societies and other institutions. Those pledges set the commitment to ‘the Challenge’ and will provide a kit of indicators to assess the goal of ‘the Challenge’. The indicators consider structure, levels and priorities of commitments: health policies, institutions’ activities, structural improvements, tasks of professionals in the field.

The WHO advisory group on patient safety introduced a patient tool to be used in healthcare settings: “5 moments for medication safety” keeping in mind the success of the “5 moments for Hand Hygiene”. All experts agreed on the proposal to develop tools to improve patient participation in the safer use of medications. WONCA representative, Dr Astier-Peña, talked about the role that those tools have in primary care settings to foster a safer use of medication for patients and healthcare professionals.

Finally, the group discussed medication safety gaps in knowledge and the identification of priorities for medication safety research considering both low and middle income countries’ priorities and high income countries’ priorities.

The meeting ended with a clear message to make a sound link between Medication Without Harm Challenge with a broader WHO Challenge “Universal Health Coverage”.

The WONCA Working Party on Quality and Safety will try to foster this Challenge of Medication without Harm in all WONCA Regions. If you are interested in joining us, click here.
Join our working party

WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm Brochure

The WHO's Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm brochure outlines the vision and strategic direction of this global initiative aiming to reduce the level of severe, avoidable harm related to medications by 50% over the next five years, globally. It provides an overview of the key components of the Challenge including the local, national and global action to be taken.

Publication details

Number of pages: 16
Publication date: May 2017
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/HIS/SDS/2017.6

Download brochure