Intended for healthcare professionals

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

South Africa blames deaths of 22 infants on the legacy of apartheid

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:115
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

    South Africa's Department of Health has refused to hold anyone responsible for the deaths of 22 infants in KwaZulu-Natal after an outbreak of infection with Klebsiella bacteria in the neonatal nursery at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Durban last year. It will also not be compensating parents who lost babies.

    Instead it has blamed the system of apartheid, which ended in 1994, and past health systems for the failures—which its own scientific investigator said in a preliminary report were “mainly a microbiology/infection control issue.”

    A final report has not been released, and parents have decided to sue for compensation. A smaller group of parents whose babies died as a result of …

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