The ministry of health has imposed new drastic measures as it seeks to deal with the challenge presented by multi-drug resistant klebsiella pneumonia.
The measures that include increased surveillance, active screening for those at risk, contact precaution as well as environmental screening comes in the wake of thirteen reported neonatal cases at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
While lauding healthcare workers at the facility for identifying and putting in place mechanisms to deal with the situation, health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said there was a need to enhance infection prevention and control measures amid an increase in rates of antimicrobial drug resistance cases.
“The Kenyatta National Hospital as well as other health facilities need to review their surveillance systems to improve identification and management of healthcare acquired infections, screen all babies at admission to new-born units for early identification and isolation of infected ones and ensure continuous capacity building for all staff on infection prevention and control.” Observed the health CS.
He said all referral facilities must collaborate with other referring health facilities to minimise cross hospital transfer of infections.
The KNH microbiology laboratory had on 22nd August 2022 identified an isolate of a multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumonia from the blood of an infant admitted to the neonatal critical care unit. The Klebsiella pneumoniae organism that was isolated from the new born unit was noted to be resistant to almost all the antibiotics available for treatment of neonates. Since then, the same organism has been isolated from 13 neonates, who have all been managed as per standard procedures out of which, 6 have succumbed.
The ministry of health through the division of Neonatal and child health has enhanced efforts to improve infant mortality rates which stood at 22 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 with the aim of realising sustainable development goals target for infant mortality rate of 12 deaths or below per 1,000 live births.
Among the measures include the development of the Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) quality of care standards which have already been finalised with the process of adaptation of the WHO quality of care standards for small and sick new-born in health facilities currently underway.
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The ministry is in the process of adopting and developing assessment tools for small and sick new-born up to the age of one month besides working with counties to build capacity as well as monitor how the prescribed quality of care standards is being implemented.
The division of Neonatal and child health is also developing a tool for monitoring infants and sick new-born with the aim of better managing infections.