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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson called an emergency meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2015 with a team from the University Hospital of the West Indies, the Ministry of Health and the South East Regional Health Authority to review the current situation regarding an infection affecting some newborns at the UHWI.
  • During the meeting he got a full update of the status of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the issues being faced and the actions being taken to address the current situation.
  • The Minister was informed at the meeting that there is no mystery bug as the causative agent has been identified and is being appropriately treated.

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson called an emergency meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2015 with a team from the University Hospital of the West Indies, the Ministry of Health and the South East Regional Health Authority to review the current situation regarding an infection affecting some newborns at the UHWI. The meeting took place at the UHWI’s Board room.

During the meeting he got a full update of the status of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the issues being faced and the actions being taken to address the current situation. The Minister was informed at the meeting that there is no mystery bug as the causative agent has been identified and is being appropriately treated.

The meeting included consultant microbiologists, neonatologists and paediatricians from the UHWI as well as the Ministry’s epidemiologist, infection control physicians and members of the board of the UHWI.

Further to the meeting the joint team from the Ministry of Health, SERHA and UHWI is continuing to work throughout the weekend to ensure all necessary steps are in place to control the spread of the infection.

The Minister instructed that the board of the UHWI must take all necessary steps to ensure that the problem is contained within the shortest possible time. He committed to providing, through the Ministry of Health, any additional resources required to deal with the situation.

The Minister is also in touch with international partners including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) who are on standby to provide any additional assistance that may be required if needed.

The Minister will be hosting a press briefing on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 10a.m. to provide an update to the country as to the issues faced by Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) that admit very ill babies.