Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton has disclosed that a pneumonia “outbreak” which occurred within the Suddie Regional Hospital over the last month was under control.
Dr Norton was quoted by Guyana Times on Sunday as saying that there was no need to panic because health officials have managed to control the situation and the sick pregnant patients were treated and sent home.
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing a cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.
The infection can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants, young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.
Reports had surfaced about the outbreak a few days ago, raising alarm among health-care practitioners about their safety.
So far, there have been seven reported cases. Norton stated that they were able to contain the situation and prevent new cases.
Although, he had previously stated that the number of cases being reported was alarming, he declared that there was no evidence of an outbreak.
The Health Minister highlighted that based on information collected from a health-care team dispatched to the area, the virus did not originate within the hospital compound or the maternity ward. He stated that the organism which caused the infection has not yet been recognised.
According to reports, pregnant mothers were admitted to the hospital in a healthy state and after a mere couple of hours, they would start to exhibit signs of the infection. Thus, the connection had been made between the maternity ward and the presence of the virus at the hospital.
Health-care employees have blamed the insanitary conditions of the institution for the escalated number of cases. Minister Norton, however, stated that the Ministry has received no claims of such sort.
The regional hospital is expected to be revamped soon under the Primary Health Care Project, which will not only cater for the physical renovation of the hospital but will go further to ensure that the health institution evolves.