Health authority boss confirms 3 deaths, not 35

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By ZACHERY PER
THE Goroka Provincial Hospital management has confirmed that only three new-born babies with low birth weights had died from suspected klesbiella pneumonia.
Chief executive officer of the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority Dr Joseph Apa said out of eight babies with low birth weights admitted at the Special Care Nursery, three died, two were taken away and three treated and discharged.
He denied media reports that more than 35 had died at the hospital from klesbsiella. The figure was given by EHP Governor Peter Numu at a media conference last week.
“At Goroka hospital today, we have improved microbiology laboratory facilities which introduced culture and sensitivity tests in June last year,” he said.
“It makes the Goroka Provincial Hospital the only government hospital besides Port Moresby General Hospital and private hospitals to have sensitivity tests done,” Apa said.
He said the pediatrician had informed the management of the infection among the babies on April 2.
With the support of the Curative Health Services, a committee was formed led by Senior Pediatrician Dr Hwaihwanje Ilomo. It comprised nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, standards officers and officers from the PNG Institute of Medical Research who are now providing control measures, he said.
Apa said the committee had put in place immediate, intermediate and long-term measures to combat the klebsiella infections. It is resistant to most commonly used antibiotics and sensitive to ciprofloxacin.

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