Overcrowding played huge role in spreading of Klebsiella Pneumonia outbreak at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital

(Photo: Getty Images/Gallo)
(Photo: Getty Images/Gallo)

The Gauteng department of health says an interim report revealed that "extreme overcrowding" played a major factor in the spreading of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria Klebsiella Pneumonia at the Thelle Mogoerane hospital in Vosloorus. 

A report by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) found that due to the overcrowding, control measures were compromised. 

The NICD also found that 90 new-born babies were placed in a ward with a capacity of 61. 

"The issue of overcrowding is of particular concern because all neonatal wards in the province were found to be overcrowded – on average 132% bed utilisation," Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said.

Motsoaledi and Gauteng MEC for health Gwen Ramokgopa visited the hospital on Sunday afternoon. 

The report further found that "low birth weight babies due to prematurity, driven by a multitude of social factors among which are teenage pregnancy, HIV and poor socio-economic conditions."

In an attempt to curb the outbreak, the hospital grouped affected babies and delegated staff to look after them. 

Infection control was intensified and new baby admissions were kept in a separate area.

Two babies died at the hospital, one in July and the second one in August when they contracted the bacterial infection. 

Motsoaledi said the outbreak was contained at the unit where babies were infected in the past. 

He said the Gauteng province needed six more new hospitals to deal with the overcrowding.

The only available facilities were the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. 

Motsoaledi said the unused space at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital is expected to be used for the new-borns from Thelle Mogoerane Hospital. 

"Premature babies are always vulnerable to infections and overcrowding exacerbates the situation. In addition, we are concerned about the design of the neonatal, antenatal, postnatal, labour ward and theatre. 

"The passage from these wards to theatre passes through the neonatal ward adding to the risk and this is an undesirable situation," he said.

A plan to transfer the patients is already in place, Motsoaledi said. 


KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 6784 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 7903 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.19
(+0.81)
ZAR/GBP
21.20
(+1.15)
ZAR/EUR
19.15
(+1.10)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(+0.66)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+1.01)
Gold
1903.91
(-0.91)
Silver
24.71
(-0.98)
Platinum
885.00
(+0.23)
Brent Crude
42.06
(-3.35)
Palladium
2382.50
(-0.08)
All Share
54796.42
(-0.99)
Top 40
50276.84
(-1.23)
Financial 15
10376.28
(+2.34)
Industrial 25
74130.97
(-0.60)
Resource 10
52819.20
(-2.99)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo