991 babies die over 4 years in Bara's short staffed neo-natal wards - Jack Bloom

DA MP says that there are presently 236 staff working in this dept, with 112 positions unfilled


991 babies have died at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in the last four years, but the Gauteng Health Department claims that none of these were due to negligence despite a shortage of 112 staff in the neo-natal wards.

This information is given by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

There are presently 236 staff working in the neo-natal department, but the shortages are as follows:

47 Professional Nurses

27 Enrolled Nurses

26 Enrolled Nursing Assistant

12 Cleaners

The main cause of the baby deaths is infection (35%) followed by prematurity (33%), asphyxia (18%) and congenital abnormality (14%).

I am surprised that the department does not consider that negligence caused any of these deaths, as it admits that Klebsiella Pneumonia and MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) were the cause of some of these deaths.

Both of these infections indicate a lack of hygiene.

The department needs to snap out of denial about baby deaths that could have been avoided at this hospital if there was proper staffing and hygiene.

High negligence claims for baby injury or death at Bara will continue unless urgent steps are taken to improve the quality of care.

Statement issued by Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, November 20 2014

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