24 Aug 2017

Fiji medical supply chain to be strengthened

6:15 am on 24 August 2017

The Ministry of Health in Fiji says its procurement of medical supplies will be improved to avoid further shortages in the neonatal intensive care unit at the country's main hospital.

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Photo: 123RF

A report by the World Health Organisation highlighted the shortages at Colonial War Memorial hospital, after drug resistant bacteria was found in six babies, who died in the unit this year.

The ministry's permanent secretary Philip Davies said it was not clear if the babies died because of the infection.

Mr Davies said staff at the hospital had been doing their best with limited supplies.

"I guess you almost have to put yourself in the shoes of these nurses. You've got a baby whose life is in danger. Do you not put them on a ventilator, or do you put them on a ventilator and reuse a single-use ventilator tube. That must be, professionally and ethically, an incredibly difficult situation to be placed in."

Philip Davies says the neonatal intensive care unit has been sanitised and cleaning procedures revised.

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