Victoria Jubilee Blasts ‘”Irresponsible, Inaccurate” Gleaner Report

The Victoria Jubilee Hospital, VJH, is categorizing a Sunday Gleaner article which alleges that the institution lied about the number of neonatal deaths stemming from infection, as “Irresponsible, inaccurate and an absolute misrepresentation”

The babies died after being infected with bacteria called Group B streptococcus, which they acquired from their mothers during vaginal delivery at the hospital.

The deaths occurred in August and September.

The Gleaner claims to have been in receipt of a report submitted by VJH officials, showing 26 babies dying from the bacteria during the period.

This would be far higher than the four deaths originally claimed by the Ministry of Health.

However, in a statement yesterday the VJH is refuting the article.

In its statement, the VJH says the article seeks to undermine the integrity of the Ministry of Health, the committee formed to investigate the cases of infection related deaths and the hospital staff.

It says that a committee report which was issued to the media and posted online, fully disclosed that during the period 29 neonatal deaths occurred.

And of that number only four were attributed to infection.

The report outlines that for the month of August, six-hundred and 52 live births took place with 12 neonatal deaths.

For that month none of the deaths were confirmed to result from bacterial infection.

In September seven-hundred and 45 live births were recorded with 18 neonatal deaths.

The VJH says only four of these were confirmed to be due to bacterial infection.

The VJH goes on to say that the Hospital understands that many challenges exist within the health sector and are committed to having a fully transparent process in all cases.

The hospital is urging all journalists to thoroughly investigate matters before publishing, as it sends the wrong signal and further contributes to undermining the health sector.

The hospital says it is irresponsible and unfair to the professionals within the sector who continue to work under challenging circumstances.

–30–