by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
Five babies have now died from anti-biotic resistant Klebsiella at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus as the hospital shuts down wards and struggles to find the source of this bacteria.
I discovered this when I visited the hospital last week to check up on sources who had told me that more babies had died after it was revealed two weeks ago that two out of seven babies infected with Klebsiella had died.
I welcome the decision by the Gauteng Health Department to put the hospital’s CEO Nomonde Mqhayi-Mbambo on special leave as she ignored warnings by staff that overcrowding in the neonatal ward increased the risk of infection.
Dr Jatin Ganda has been tasked to oversee operations at the hospital until an acting CEO has been appointed.
I was informed that Klebsiella infection has been confirmed in 11 babies, five of whom have died.
The first baby died on 9 July, another in early August, two babies died on 25 August and another baby on 28 August. They were all vulnerable low-weight premature infants.
The remaining infected babies have been isolated to prevent further infection, and the neonatal and labour wards have been thoroughly scrubbed down.
New maternity and neonatal patients have been diverted to other hospitals.
There is a team from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) which is trying to find the source of the outbreak.
It is very distressing that so many babies have died from a preventable hospital-acquired infection.
This troubled hospital needs new leadership and the filling of critical staff vacancies so that quality care is provided to all patients.