The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) is an institution under fire following the revelation that eleven newborn babies died from what is suspected to be a bacterium infection known as Klebsiella.
According to the Daily Nation, the situation is being attributed to the lack of basic products in the facility for taking care of the babies.
Some sources from the facility who spoke to the Nation divulged that the babies who died last week, succumbed due to Klebsiella and other factors, compounded by the poor state of the wards.
Nurses at KNH noted that due to lack of the necessities, they had to improvise feeding tubes and syringes, which cause bruises and bleeding in the babies’ noses and mouths. They also explain that since the babies are still being breastfed, the mothers express milk which is then fed to the babies through a tube called nasogastric tube which can either go through the nose or mouth.
However, with the tubes being out of stock, the nurses use syringes which are not only inappropriate but also hurt the infants.
Additionally, the infants are forced to share cots putting them at risk of infecting each other with bugs like Klebsiella.
A drug resistance expert Sam Kariuki, who holds a doctorate in microbiology, noted that Klebsiella is a species of bacteria that occurs naturally in the environment.
He also mentioned that Klebsiella at the hospital cannot be treated with the usual antibiotics because “it has been circulating in the hospital for some time, interacting with other bacteria, collecting and exchanging resistant elements.”
According to research recently published by r David Gathara of the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust, Nairobi’s neonatal mortality is at 39 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with the national figure of 22 per 1,000 live births.
Last week, Citizen TV exposed the dire situation at Mbagathi hospital, where expectant mothers are forced to labour on benches and babies share incubators, despite the health risks.
The story disclosed that the delivery room also serves as the operating room as it has two tables, one for women who will be delivering naturally and another for those undergoing the C-section.