A recent WHO report on the Burden of Health Care-Associated Infections estimates that such infections affect hundreds of millions of people globally. The burden is at least twice as high in developing countries compared to developed countries. In many cases, this harm is preventable. WHO's Patient Safety Programme (formerly the World Alliance for Patient Safety) was established in 2004 to coordinate, facilitate and accelerate patient safety improvements around the world. In its first seven years, the programme has stimulated global awareness and knowledge about the importance of patient safety towards building and maintaining effective health systems and services.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan has named Professor Sir Liam Donaldson as WHO Envoy for Patient Safety. In this role, Sir Liam, who served as England's Chief Medical Officer between 1998 and 2010, will help the Organization promote patient safety as a global public health priority.
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