Patient safety

African Partnerships for Patient Safety

“Only by working together can we address this public health issue, strengthen health systems and make the delivery of health care safe for every patient in Africa, every time.”

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General – Health Systems and Innovation, WHO

Partnerships unite for safer health care

Partnerships bring learning, adaptability, skill sharing and momentum for improvements.

APPS facilitates action for improvement

APPS supports a range of actions to strengthen health systems, assist in building local capacity and reduce medical error and patient harm.

APPS catalyses systems for safer health care

The programme is building momentum for action on patient safety across Africa.


African Partnerships for Patient Safety (APPS) is a WHO Patient Safety Programme concerned with building sustainable hospital to hospital patient safety partnerships. The program is focused on countries of the WHO African Region but has also opened the network and programme resources to all hospitals in all regions of the world. It sits within the programmatic area of Global Partnerships for Patient Safety.

APPS is concerned with advocating for patient safety as a precondition of health care and catalyzing a range of actions that will strengthen health systems, assist in building local capacity and help reduce medical error and patient harm. The programme acts as a channel for patient safety improvements that can spread across countries, uniting patient safety efforts.

  • Key Collaborators
    APPS works with a variety of partners who are critical to the successful delivery of the programme. The vital work with WHO’s E-portuguese programme has led to the success of a partnership in Mozambique and the availability of essential tools in Portuguese. THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust) in the UK is a leading health partnership organization that has supported the development of APPS Hospital partnership from it’s inception.
  • First priorities
    Two of the 12 key areas identified by the WHO African Member States as priorities for tackling patient safety are health care-associated infections and safe surgical care. APPS supports Hospital Partnerships to prioritise these areas to bring about improvements in care across the hospital, country and region.
  • Implementation
    APPS works through hospital-to-hospital partnerships to carry out technical improvements in patient safety. Hospitals have developed a variety of ways to work together and support each other at a distance in order to implement patient safety improvements, raise awareness of patient safety and spread learning and experience to others.