Health Highlands News

Claims of Infant Deaths Refuted

By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Allegations have surfaced from a source in Goroka’s General Hospital of a bacterial outbreak that may have lead to the deaths of around 24 infants in the facility’s antenatal nursery. This comes after the hospital shut down services to the general public citing a routine clean-up.

The source who requested anonymity  states that the hospital is in urgent need of fumigation saying the bacteria is not only present in the anti-natal ward, but may also be in other wards including ward 1, where mother’s who have had caesareans recover.

While these allegations are yet to be proven, the source also claims that discharged mothers had ineffective antibiotic treatment, with infections apparent on open wounds due to the bacteria becoming drug resistant.

Further claims are that Klebesiall pneumonia a bacteria normally found in the intestines and faeces, as well as staphylococcus a type of bacteria found on the skin, apparently had been manifesting and spreading  in the hospital since the beginning of the year, as the hospital was using lesser grade detergents as a cleaning agent.

Today, Eastern Highlands Governor, Peter Numu, called on the Health Department to investigate the matter, also sending a formal letter to the Health Minister for Direct intervention from the National Executive Coucil.

The Goroka Hospital CEO, Dr Joseph Apa, denies that any infant had died from the bacteria and that there has only been 3 deaths, refuting claims of 24 babies dying in a span of February to April. He did however, confirm to EMTV News that there was a bacteria outbreak.

The CEO also stating that the hospital uses NDOH standard cleaning material to clean the hospital.

EMTV News is yet to receive a statement from the Health secretary or Minister.

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