NEWS

World Health Organisation To Work With Ministry To Combat Bacteria Outbreak

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will work with Ministry of Health to address current gaps at the CWM Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that resulted in the recent bacteria outbreaks.
19 Aug 2017 11:12
World Health Organisation To Work With Ministry To Combat Bacteria Outbreak
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Philip Davies, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Rosy Akbar and WHO representative, for the South Pacific, Dr Corinne Capuano in Suva on August 18, 2017. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will work with Ministry of Health to address current gaps at the CWM Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that resulted in the recent bacteria outbreaks.

After a thorough examination and analysis of the outbreaks, the WHO has put strong recommendations to the ministry in combating the situation.

WHO, after being requested by the ministry, had deployed a team of three specialists to conduct an assessment of the outbreak to try and identify the source of the bacteria.

They also reviewed the current Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) policies, practices and infrastructure at CWMH.

The South Pacific representative of WHO, Dr Corinne Capuano, on Friday presented recommendations which included strengthening the medical supply chain to ensure the adequate, consistent delivery of consumables and supplies to health facilities.

Dr Capuano said the recommendations further called for proper training of the medical staff, patient contact precautions and cleaning.

However, she reminded that “the control and elimination of this bacterium was an extremely complex task.”

More than 20 babies have lost their lives at the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit in the first six months of this year.

This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health, Philip Davies, during a press conference on Friday at Denim House in Toorak, Suva.

The press conference was called by the ministry in the presence of Dr Capuano to present findings and recommendations of the WHO review.

Mr Davies clarified however, that these babies did not die of the bacterial outbreak but had their own medical conditions.

The acinetobacter baumannii bacterium was present in the NICU for some considerable time.

“The review team confirmed that it was around in 2015, and possibly earlier,” Mr Davies said.

In addition, he said the 42-page report also highlighted the fact, that CWM Hospital as a whole had experienced at least ten outbreaks of multi-drug resistant organisms since 2006.

“While that might appear disturbing, as my Minister has pointed out, it is in fact, a reality for hospitals throughout the world. Such outbreaks are not unusual – in both developed and developing countries,” Mr Davies said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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