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SAHRC: Tembisa Hospital needs more staff after death of 10 babies

The commission visited the hospital on Monday after an outbreak of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria CRE spread through the neo-natal ward between November and December.

FILE: Tembisa Hospital. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is warning the measures taken by the Tembisa Hospital may not be enough to prevent the reoccurrence of a bacteria outbreak that killed 10 babies.

The commission visited the hospital on Monday after an outbreak of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) spread through the neo-natal ward between November and December.

It has not ruled out the prospect that gross negligence may have led to the spread of the bacteria.

Gauteng SAHRC head Buang Jones said most of the hospital’s problems could be solved by hiring more staff.

“You need cleaners for hygiene. They have one cleaner per ward, which is not enough, and they need more nurses. They ideally need 57 nurses for the neo-natal ward, but they only have six professional nurses. This is not enough.”

He said the hospital promised to start hiring more people from February.