Health Ministry receives PAHO review of nurseries amid newborn deaths

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness says it has received a report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on special care nurseries at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and the Spanish Town Hospital.

This, following an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae in the special care nurseries at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in July.

The Ministry, in a release on Thursday, said it requested technical assistance from PAHO regarding infection prevention and control measures in special care nurseries after the incident which claimed the lives of 12 babies during the bacterial outbreak

READ: 12 babies die from bacterial infection at Victoria Jubilee Hospital

The Health Ministry, in its statement, indicated that the PAHO report describes the main findings of a technical mission carried out between October 14 and 22 and also details the rapid assessments of infection prevention and control in the special care nurseries at the three health facilities.

The Dr Christopher Tufton-led ministry also shared that the report is currently being reviewed by its technical team and that the main findings will be shared with the public.

A health ministry review in October revealed that a severe shortage of nurses could have led to the outbreak of the resistant bacteria that killed the newborns.

At the time, Minister Tufton revealed that the ratio of nurses to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit should be one nurse to two babies. However, with Jamaica plagued by a severe nursing shortage due to the high number of nurses migrating each year, Tufton said “we’re now at one (nurse) to seven (babies) and sometimes more”.

READ: Tufton acknowledges resistant bacteria killed babies at Victoria Jubilee months after problem started

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