World Health Organization Announces 
World Patient Safety Day 2022
  Theme: Medication Without Harm 
September 17, 2022


Objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2022

  1. RAISE global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices, and ADVOCATE urgent action to improve medication safety. 
  2. ENGAGE key stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm. 
  3. EMPOWER patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication. 
  4. SCALE UP implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. Working together to make health care safer

How to Participate

The global campaign for World Patient Safety Day 2022 proposes a wide range of activities for all key stakeholders on and around 17 September 2022, including development of national campaigns, organization of policy forums, advocacy and technical events, capacity-building initiatives and, as in previous years, lighting up iconic monuments, landmarks and public places in orange (the signature mark of the campaign). 

WHO encourages all stakeholders to join the global campaign and adopt the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm in their efforts to implement the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 20212030.

We request you to share information about your plans to celebrate World Patient Safety Day 2022
For more information about the campaign and proposed activities, please visit the WHO World Patient Safety Day 2022 event page
We encourage you to share best practices on the theme of Medication Safety that can be used in the run-up to and on World Patient Safety Day on

Background on this Years Theme: Medication Without Harm 

World Patient Safety Day is one of WHO’s global public health days. It was established in 2019 by the Seventy-second World Health Assembly through the adoption of resolution WHA72.6 – “Global action on patient safety”. Global public health days offer great potential to raise awareness and understanding of health issues and mobilize support for action, from the local community to the international stage. World Patient Safety Day is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine – first do no harm. Its objectives are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by Member States to promote patient safety.

Each year, a new theme is selected on a priority patient safety topic to highlight its importance and call for urgent action to address the issue. Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of avoidable harm in health care across the world. Medication errors occur when weak medication systems, and human factors such as fatigue, poor environmental conditions or staff shortages, affect prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring practices, which can then result in severe patient harm, disability and even death. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the risk of medication errors and associated medication-related harm. Considering this huge burden of harm, “Medication Safety” has been selected as the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022.

The theme builds on the ongoing efforts of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. It also provides much-needed impetus to take urgent action for reducing medication-related harm through strengthening systems and practices of medication use. The slogan of World Patient Safety Day 2022 “Medication Without Harm” aims to focus attention on making the process of medication safer and free from harm, and to galvanize action on the Challenge by calling on all stakeholders to prioritize medication safety and address unsafe practices and system weaknesses, with a special focus on the three main causes of avoidable harm arising from medication: high-risk situations, transitions of care and polypharmacy.