Patient safety

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The World Alliance for Patient Safety was launched in October 2004 in Washington D.C. in response to World Health Assembly resolution (WHA55.18) urging WHO and Member States to pay the closest possible attention to patient safety.

This worldwide endeavor brought together the heads of agencies, health policy-makers, WHO and patient groups to advance the fundamental goal of “First do no harm” and reduce the potential unwarranted harm inflicted on patients. Health care delivery inherently contains the potential for a breach of patient safety.

A recent research study conducted by the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean performed in six countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen) calls attention to the high rate of death and permanent disability related to adverse events in some countries of the Region. A latter study, conducted between 2005 and 2008, based on medical record review, demonstrated that up to 18% of inpatient admissions in some countries of the Region are associated with patient harm as a result of the health care they received, measured as adverse events.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Islamic Republic of Iran first implemented the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital in 2010. It was piloted in 10 hospitals. The hospitals have been internally and externally assessed and there are plans to expand the programme to to 100 hospitals.

Related links

Regional patient safety programme

African partnerships for patient safety

Key health-related statistics

Total population (x1000) (2016)


Total health expenditure (%general government expenditure)


Maternal mortality per 100 000 live


Primary health care units and centres


Hospital beds per 10000 pop.


Life expectancy (F/M)

75.7 (76.9/74.6)

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Islamic Republic of Iran country health profile

Regional Health Observatory