UHWI expresses regret at baby deaths

News post October 22, 2015

The University Hospital of the West Indies

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in a media release Wednesday said its board, management and staff “deeply regret the loss of lives in our nurseries”.

The health institution said the chairman of its board Sterling Soares, on October 16, at approximately 5:00 pm, advised the minister of health of the development after being informed by the press about a mystery bug in the UHWI nursery.

The minister then summoned members of the board to an emergency meeting at 7:00 pm, the release continued.

“Further to this meeting, at 9:00am on Saturday, October 17 the minister convened a meeting with representatives of the board, Ministry of Health, SERHA, the management and the technical staff at UHWI. The infection control team explained to the meeting the cause of the infection and the management protocol instituted,” the UHWI said. “Our international partners were notified as prescribed by established guidelines. In addition, the minister committed all resources necessary to assist with the management of the cluster of cases. He mandated a press briefing be held on Tuesday, October 20th at 10:00 am, immediately following the holiday to allay public fears, and to clarify that there was no mystery bug in our nurseries as was earlier reported by the press.”

The release said that at a meeting of the UHWI Board of Management on Wednesday, October 21st at 2:00 pm, the board recognised a breach in the MOH/UHWI reporting protocol.

“Professor John Lindo, Acting Head of the Department of Microbiology, UHWI reported that the situation was not brought to the attention of the MOH and by extension the minister in a timely manner,” the release continued. “A timely report would have triggered a series of actions by the MOH and our international partners, including CARPHA and PAHO. However, the infection control team at UHWI who identified the agents were confident that the cluster of cases could have been controlled as on many previous occasions.”

Dr Winston Dela Haye, Consultant psychiatrist stated that the board recognised the traumatic experience that the parents and families have undergone as a result of the loss of their loved ones, the release continued. The hospital said it continues to provide counselling and other psychological support to the affected families.

According to Dr Carl Bruce, consultant neurosurgeon, the UHWI and its hardworking and caring staff and professionals will continue to provide all services to the public in a safe and comfortable environment.

The chairman of the board of management has, according to the release, mandated that a detailed report on the breech of protocols be delivered to him by midday on Thursday, October 22, 2015.



Published By: The Observer

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