Sun | Feb 5, 2023

We did not hold back on sharing PAHO’s report on nurseries – Tufton

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 12:58 PM
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton speaking at a media briefing on January 24, 2023. - Nicholas Nunes photo.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says the ministry was not holding back on releasing the findings of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) report on special care nurseries. 

Tufton said the final report was received from PAHO last Thursday. 

“We couldn't produce a report or response without having the actual report,” he said during a media briefing which is under way at Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew.

The health ministry reported on November 24, 2022, that it had received the report from PAHO and had committed to sharing the main findings with the public following a review by its technical team. 

Technical assistance was sought from PAHO regarding infection prevention and control measures amid a bacterial outbreak that claimed the lives of 13 newborns at Victoria Jubilee Hospital last year. 

A staffing crisis was among the factors blamed for the death of the babies with a reported staff-to-patient ratio of 1:7, where the best practise is 1:2.

Tufton told the press conference that PAHO's findings to a large extent mirror the findings of internal assessments that were conducted. 

The minister said inadequate separation between infants, non-compliance with infection prevention and control measures, and inadequate staffing are among PAHO's findings. 

The chief medical officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, is expected to provide more details in a presentation shortly. 

The PAHO report spans the operations of special care nurseries at Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and Spanish Town Hospital.

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