Corlia Kruger
1 minute read
24 Aug 2015
11:52 am

Health department to fight hospital-acquired infections

Corlia Kruger

The department of health is bracing itself for the battle against hospital-acquired infections.

Picture: Thinkstock

This after Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, revealed 1 533 people contracted infections in provincial hospitals in the last three years, Rekord East reported. 

The number of nosocomial infections – hospital-acquired infections – has been on the increase from 322 cases in 2013 to 975 last year.

According to the department, a strategy is in place to reduce the risk of infection.

“The department has put emphasis on the following measures in all our facilities: Reinforced infection prevention and control precautions; decontamination of equipment in-between admissions, transfers and discharge of patients,” department spokesperson Steve Mabona said.

He said the community would also be involved and educated about the importance of hand hygiene when visiting sick relatives in hospital.

“Minimum and maximum stock levels will be maintained at all times and mothers monitored when breastfeeding to ensure adherence to the best possible hygiene practices,”
Mabona said.

“It is our view that with compliance to these precautions, nosocomial infections will be reduced drastically.”

DA Gauteng shadow MEC for health, Jack Bloom, said though the situation seemed dire now, it was encouraging that Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, which was once ranked highest for infection-risk, showed a drastic decreased rate of infection last year.

“Only eight infections were recorded, which means that there is hope for a drastic decrease in infections at the other hospitals as well,” Bloom said.

Two Pretoria hospitals, Steve Biko Academic and George Mukhari placed third and second on the list of Gauteng’s most unhygienic hospitals.

– Caxton News Service