Patient safety

Evidence of unsafe care

Highlights of the Eastern Mediterranean and African Study of Adverse Events

  • almost a third of patients impacted by harmful incidents died, 14% sustained permanent disability and 16% sustained moderate disability.
  • 4 out of 5 incidents were preventable.
  • 34% of observed incidents resulted from therapeutic errors, 19% from misdiagnosis and 18% were related to surgery.
  • the major causes of the harmful incidents observed were related to the training and supervision of clinical staff, the availability and implementation of protocols and policies, and communication and reporting.

The Adverse Events Study carried out in 26 hospitals from two African countries: Kenya and South Africa and six Eastern Mediterranean countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen used a collaborative model with the objective of measuring harmful events occurring in these hospitals.

It is the first large scale study which attempts to measure patient harm in hospitals in these regions.


Fostering research to help understand the magnitude and nature of unsafe care

To make health care safer, knowledge must be translated into practice, and efforts to tackle patient harm must be scaled up.