South Africa: Ten Babies Killed By Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria At Tembisa Hospital

Overcrowding, understaffing and poor hygiene are said to be the main reasons for the deaths of the 10 newborns at Tembisa Hospital.

The Department of Health has confirmed that out of the 17 cases of antibiotic-resistant CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) reported between 1 November and 31 December 2019, 10 babies have died.

"It was suspected that the organism responsible for this outbreak was Klebsiella pneumoniae," said the department's spokesperson, Kwara Kekana.

While it is still unclear at this point how exactly the babies contracted the deadly Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogen said to be responsible for the outbreak, overcrowding of maternity wards, understaffing and poor hygiene were cited as the key reasons for how this bacteria thrives in the first place.

"Overcrowding and poor hygiene measures are a major problem in neonatal units in Gauteng hospitals. This led to the deaths of six babies from Klebsiella at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in 2018, but there has been no proper accountability for these deaths," said DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom.

"This hospital is notoriously overcrowded and the 44-bed neonatal unit often admits more than double that number of babies. We need to know why the public was not informed earlier and what...

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