World Patient Safety Day is an official WHO campaign for all healthcare system stakeholders to unite and improve patient safety globally. The 72nd World Health Assembly (May 2019), representing all 194 WHO member states, established World Patient Safety Day through resolution WHA72.6 to boost patient safety comprehension, increase public engagement in healthcare safety, and reduce avoidable harm in healthcare. The Day is based firmly on the Hippocratic principle of “First do no harm” and builds upon a series of annual global patient safety summits in London 2016 and Bonn 2017. World Patient Safety Day is observed annually on 17 September, with each year focusing on a new priority patient safety area.

This year’s theme focuses on the priority area, “Safe maternal and newborn care,” due to the significant risk and harm caused by receiving unsafe care during childbirth. About 810 women and 6700 newborns die daily, with the causes occurring around delivery. Nearly 2 million stillbirths occur yearly. It is a tragedy that safe and quality healthcare can prevent most of these deaths. Consequently, this year’s campaign slogan – “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!” – calls to action all healthcare stakeholders to ensure safe and respectful childbirths.  World Patient Safety Day 2021 aims to revitalise stakeholders’ efforts to bring universal health coverage for all women and newborns and related Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets.

World Patient Safety Day 2021 objectives are to:

  1. Raise global awareness on maternal and newborn safety issues, especially during childbirth.
  2. Engage stakeholders to improve maternal and newborn safety through effective and innovative strategies.
  3. Call all stakeholders to scale up efforts, “reach the unreached,” and ensure safe maternal and newborn care, particularly during childbirth.
  4. Advocate best practices adoption at the point of care to prevent avoidable risks and harm to newborns and women during childbirth.

The World Patient Safety Day 2021 campaign includes a wide range of activities on and around 17 September 2021. These involve organising advocacy and technical events, lighting iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in orange (the campaign’s signature mark), and launching the World Patient Safety Day 2021–2022 goals. 

In addition, a Virtual Global Conference will be held on 17 September, 14:00-18:00 CEST. Virtual Conference Details and Registration can be found in the link below.



World Health Organization (2021) World Patient Safety Day 2021. Available from

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WHO, World Patient Safety Day, World Patient Safety Day 2021, newborn safety issues, newborn care World Patient Safety Day is an official WHO campaign for all healthcare system stakeholders to unite and improve patient safety globally.