by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
Following the confirmation that 9 babies have died of Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) at the Rahima Moosa Hospital, I have requested the SA Human Rights Commission to do an inspection of conditions at this hospital.
It is of great concern that there were 43 NEC cases at this hospital between March and July this year, but this was covered up and only became public after a report by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
NEC is a medical condition where a portion of the bowel dies, and typically occurs in newborns that are either premature or otherwise unwell.
I am aware that the hospital is severely understaffed, and doctors are under great strain, particularly at Obstetrics and Gynaecology. There is often only one Registrar in the evening at certain wards, which increases the risk of deaths from avoidable causes.
The SAHRC was extremely critical of overcrowded conditions at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital where 6 babies died of antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella, and should speedily investigate conditions at Rahima Moosa Hospital as well.
The Gauteng Health Department has been slow to act on the baby deaths at both hospitals, and needs to address the underlying causes of the deadly infections.