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By Mpumelelo Phakathi
Klebsiella pneumonia has claimed the lives of six babies at Thelle Mogoerance Hospital in the eastern Johannesburg township of Volsloorus.
Klebsiella is a bacteria that can cause different types of infections, such as pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis, wound or surgical site infections that is according to The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
The bacteria is a common one and is believed to be harmless unless it attaches itself to other body parts, then it can be deadly.
Currently, the bacteria can resist the potency of antibiotic treatment. People with strong immune systems don’t usually get infected. That is why babies stand at a higher risk of contracting the bacteria.
The bacteria is transmitted through direct body contact. On Sunday minister of health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said overcrowding was a major role in the cause of death of these babies.
He stated that to solve this overcrowding problem in South African hospitals, at least six new hospitals are needed. Further added that eleven babies contracted the bacteria in July 11.
Klebsiella pneumonia has forces Thelle Mogoerance hospital to close its facility, with the minister stating that they can no longer admit babies.
The Department of Health has since decided to transfer babies to Charlotte Maxeke hospital and Nelson Mandela hospital until the scrub and decontaminate of the neonatal wards at Thelle Mogoerance hospital is finished.
This morning the Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa said that there are no new infections which have been reported and that the maternity ward will remain closed.