Minister of Health & Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton
By Prince Moore
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has confirmed that low staff-to-patient ratios and non-compliance with some infection prevention and control protocols were major contributing factors in the bacterial outbreak that resulted in the deaths of a dozen newborns at Victoria Jubilee Hospital last year.
The neonates died over the period July to October.
Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton shared the findings from the PAHO report on special care nurseries at Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children and Spanish Town Hospital during a media briefing on Tuesday.
Dr. Tufton is maintaining that the problem was not as significant as was initially reported, even as he admits that the death of one newborn was in his words, one too many,
He said since the emergence of the problem last year, the health team has implemented measures to preserve life and health at all three nurseries.
These include increased sterilisation, cleaning and disinfection as well as increased monitoring and auditing of infection prevention and control measures.
Staffing levels have also been assessed, but Dr. Tufton admitted that the nurse to baby ratio is not yet at the standard set by the World Health Organisation.
In its report, PAHO said 54 cases of infection with Klebsiella Pneumoniae were identified at Victoria Jubilee over the period January to December 2022.