Patient safety

Small Grants in Africa

The Research Small Grants, part of WHO Patient Safety Research and Knowledge Management, are currently supporting six research projects in Africa. Three of them in Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania/South Africa have already been successfully completed.

In Ghana, the team at Ghana Health Service studied patient safety culture, providing documented evidence on the organisational patient safety culture in public hospitals. This study is the first of its kind in Ghana and the findings highlight key areas for further action by health planners, managers and other researchers. In Nigeria, the team at Ebonyi State University evaluated the impact of hand hygiene and disinfection of stethoscopes on health care-associated infections. In addition to scientific data, over 200 health-care professionals were trained on proper hand hygiene and high level decision-makers were engaged to raise awareness of patient safety issues. A collaborative project between Tanzania, South Africa and Australia looked at learning from the experiences of patients who had experienced adverse events. The findings were fed back to health-care providers in order for them to use the information to improve services.

Three research projects are still ongoing. In Kenya, the team at Aga Khan University is assessing the effectiveness of using routine voluntary reporting in assessing adverse events. In Mali, the team at the Point G Hospital in Bamako is evaluating health-care workers' compliance with hand hygiene during care, as well as assessing the impact of disposable glove use on health care-associated infections. This project is well advanced and is expected to be completed by December 2011. The last and most recent Small Grants project in Africa involves the study on the effective use of the Nigeria national Pharmacovigilance tool by health-care professionals for the reporting of adverse drug reactions in Nigerian Teaching Hospitals.

Research projects and institutions in Africa supported by
the WHO Patient Safety Research Small Grants

  • Ghana: "Patient safety culture in health facilities in Ghana", Ms Gertrude Sika Avortri, Ghana Health Service.
  • Kenya: "A comparison of medical records review and incident reporting for inpatient adverse event assessment", Dr Sikolia Wanyonyi and Professor William Macharia, Aga Khan University, Nairobi.
  • Mali: "Impact of disposable glove use on health-care workers' compliance with hand hygiene during care", Dr Loséni Bengaly, Department of Pharmacy at the Point G hospital.
  • Nigeria: "Impact of hand hygiene and consistent disinfection of stethoscopes on health care- associated infections", Dr Chigozie Uneke, Ebonyi State University.
  • Nigeria: "Effective use of the Nigeria national Pharmacovigilance tool by health-care professionals for the reporting of adverse drug reactions", Dr Raymond Chukwuma Okechukwu, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.
  • Australia/ South Africa /Tanzania: "Engaging consumers in safety and quality in developing countries" Professor Alan Pearson, The Joanna Briggs Institute (Australia), Dr Ni Ni Sein, Rustenburg Provincial Hospital (South Africa) and Dr Rugola Mtandu, Bugando Medical Centre (Tanzania).

For further information: Email: pssmallgrants@who.int
Website: (www.who.int/patientsafety/research)

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