22 babies die at Kimberly Hospital Complex - DENOSA

Union concerned at alarming number of deaths in a single month

DENOSA deplores the loss of 22 Babies in the Northern Cape

DENOSA deplores the latest reports and is concerned about the alarming number of babies that have died in just one month at the Kimberley Hospital Complex.

We wish to sympathise with the families who have lost their babies, as no parent would like to see their children - no matter the age - pass away.

We are calling for support to be offered also to the nurses working in the ICU with the babies, because no nurse wants to see a patient die, especially a baby.

Despite the current challenges and strains of shortage of staff and various other factors, our nurses needs to be saluted for the effort they put into the provision of health care to the patients.

We do however call on the Department of Health to declare all nursing positions as beyond critical and for all vacancies to be filled as in yesterday, by cutting through the red tape.

As a Province our health sector have to deal with a huge shortage of staff, and every time a nurse leaves the province or the profession - it leaves a bigger burden and it increases the medico-legal risk associated with this.

Families have lost their babies, as a community we should comfort them and communicate words that will help them heal.

It is our view that the Nursing staff at Kimberley Hospital Complex have done beyond their power to care for the babies as we can see in the report given by Kimberley Hospital and its representatives.It is unfortunate that some babies have lost their lives.

Specialized units such as neonatal ICU need one on one, that is one baby to one nurse because these kind of babies are not well developed and they need intensive care for their survival. 

Even the environment where this care is being given needs more space as any slide airborne kind of a virus cannot be able to affect babies.  Staffing norms in such areas are a must.  Environment equipments, protective clothing is also crucially needed. 

It is due to these reasons that DENOSA as an organisation committed to the provision of Quality Health Care, we are embarking on a Quality of Care (QOC) research.

This comes after our National Executive Committee in April 2010 resolved that something must be done to rectify this situation.

The research, led by the DENOSA Professional Institute is committed to using a holistic approach to develop nurses both as professionals and as workers. In line with this vision the research intends to bring forth nurses voices on issues of quality care.

In addition, this research aims to build nurses capacity to create a work environment that will allow them to deliver quality care.

The research will further facilitate a process that will enable health workers to identify structural factors that pose as barriers to delivering QOC and enabling them to look for ways to change those structural barriers and to introduce willingness in health workers to make changes within their control.

This will be done through countrywide workshops that will require critical thinking and analysis by participants (nurses) and reflections on what influences the way they do their work.

DENOSA is however still of the firm view that the entire health system in the country needs to be interrogated and overhauled if we are to get the health services in order. This includes Human Resource issues, tools of service, market- related remuneration of health workers and other pressing issues.

We need to indicate that at various meetings with the current MEC of Health, Honorable M. Sokatsha, DENOSA has committed themselves to provide support and whatever needs to be done in order for the immediate addressing of the challenges and problems through a short, medium and long term solution.

Once these steps have been taken, then we can effectively reduce the current deaths of babies and the provision of effective, quality healthcare.

Statement issued by Mr. R. Strydom, DENOSA provincial secretary, Northern Cape, July 28 2010

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