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Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital - klebsiella bacteria?

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  • Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital - klebsiella bacteria?


    Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital No. 1
    Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
    Friday, January 22, 2010.

    ImageUlaanbaatar’s Maternity Hospital No.1 has been temporarily shut down after three newborn baby reportedly died of a highly infectious and fatal disease outbreak in the hospital.

    Nineteen newborn babies were reported to be infected with the umbilical infection disease, and three died. The health conditions of the remaining babies are reported as stable but two are in critical condition, according to health authorities, and they have been transferred to four other hospitals for intensive medical treatment. Infection of the umbilical cord after birth can result from unhygienic methods of cutting the cord or lack of hygienic care of the umbilical cord stump until it falls off.

    The Deputy Minister of Health J.Tsolmon denied that it was umbilical infection disease. “The infection was caused, we believe, by a new type of virus, not the umbilical infection,” said Tsolmon to the media.
    But she acknowledged a sanitary regime at the hospital building, which had not seen any major maintenance work for over 20 years, was not properly maintained.

    The Ulaanbaatar government invited expert inspectors from Japan to determine whether the virus is in the air of the maternity hospital. The inspection would also be made in the two other maternity hospitals of the city. “We worked at the hospital, taking samples from the hospital’s utilities,” said D.Nyamkhuu, director of the National Research Center of Communicable Diseases.

    The Government of Ulaanbaatar quickly dismissed the director general, and surgeon doctors of the hospital and appointed new people to take over the positions. Tsolmon blamed hospital management officers for their failure to report to the government level health institutions about the infection outbreak, in timely manner. According to government officials, the infection might have first occurred in December 2009.

    The new management of the hospital denied recent media reports that the hospital lacks efficient supply of necessary medicine, and it requires mothers to buy medicine and injections from outside sources. The maternity hospital is expecting to reopen on February 1.

  • #2
    Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital

    We'll see what develops, but a virus would infect many people, not just newborns. I strongly suspect a hospital acquired bacteremia outbreak. We have had these posted here from Egypt and Mexico in the past year. Bacterial contamination of IV fluids tends to cause those. The hypothesis of an unclean cut on the umbilicial cord is possible, but less likely.

    This is the link for the Mexico incident:


    • #3
      Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital

      I called that. Not a virus - trouble in the system. But it might cost the Health Minister his job.

      HomeMongolianTuesday, 26 January, 2010

      No discussion on dismissing Health MinisterMon, 25 Jan 2010 12:03:12 Briefing journalists after the Government meeting of Friday, Minister for Social Security and Labor T.Gandi denied that there had been any discussion on dismissing Minister for Health S.Lambaa. The questions she was asked and the answers follow.
      Why is the Minister silent about rumors that the Government is planning to dismiss him?
      The Minister is at present abroad. According to law the Minister for Social Security and Labor takes charge of the Health Ministry at such times. The Government meeting did not discuss any dismissal. The situation we now have stems from the mistaken policy of paying allowances to mothers when they give birth and to children. We discussed how infant and maternal mortality can be checked, how social care can be improved and what steps the Government needs to take urgently. These involve complex issues of finance and policy and allocation of available funds.
      Why is the allowance issue being discussed now, after three babies have died?

      We must first decide whether the mistake was of an individual or was latent in the system
      . Many things are involved in the health sector, besides the budget. There are health insurance issues and many other things.
      The Government has asked for transfer of pregnant mothers to other hospitals, and for more extensive sterilization measures and improvement in service.


      • #4
        Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital

        And this one is three days old. Klebsiella pneumoniae. Bonus points to the person (Juangarrison) who actually commented on the Mexico thread linked above that Klebsiella bacteria are usually the cause of such outbreaks. I don't think those bacteria are new to Mongolia - they just never had reason to test for them before.

        Also, the UB post is not that good of a source, apparently, as it has not gone to press AT ALL in the past four days (not to mention the grammar errors in the article that started this thread).

        I wonder if ProMED will publish on this now.

        HomeMongolianTuesday, 26 January, 2010

        Three babies die, five more criticalSat, 23 Jan 2010 14:33:19 Three newborn babies have died from the infection in the First Maternity Hospital. Preliminary investigation suggests the infection was caused by the klebsiella bacteria which damages the lungs. Ts.Gansukh, director of the Metropolitan Health Department, said the bacteria are new to Mongolia. The source of the infection is still not clear.

        A total of 11 babies were infected, all about a week old. Apart from the five [edit: probably should be three to be consistent with the numbers] who died, three are in a serious condition while the remaining five have been transferred to the National Center for Infectious Disease Studies. Strict watch is being kept on the condition of all 105 babies born after January 14.


        • #5
          Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital - klebsiella bacteria?

          Looks like the health minister is going to get fired for this. I'm not sure how this is his responsibility - these outbreaks are the result of wider failures in the health system.

          Parliament May Dismiss Health Minister
          Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
          Tuesday, January 26, 2010.
          Parliament may discuss the dismissal of Health Minister S.Lambaa after he returns from his trip to Seoul, where he is receiving a medical treatment.
          Twelve law-makers have reportedly signed a petition letter to dismiss the cabinet minister due to the recent outbreak of a highly infectious fatal disease in the central maternity hospital of Ulaanbaatar, which has led to the death of four newborn babies so far, and subsequently shutdown the hospital. Fifteen newborn babies at the hospital have been infected with the disease and were transferred to the Scientific Research Hospital for Maternity and Infants for intensive medical treatment. The health condition of four other babies are reported as critical. According to a preliminary conclusion by health authorities, the umbilical infection disease outbreak at the hospital resulted from a lack of hygienic care in the delivery service.

          The Minister of Social Welfare and Labor, T.Gandi, denied that the government has raised Lambaa’s dismissal issue at the cabinet hearing. But she acknowledged that the latest incidents have proved that the government made mistakes in its health service.

          Ulaanbaatar, a home to over a million people, has only four public, and two private maternity hospitals. Public maternity hospitals give free medical services to their assigned district residents only while private ones have a paid service which is not accessible for poor families. The recent shut down of Maternity Hospital No.1 resulted in three other public hospitals becoming overloaded.

          The Parliament session last week heard a briefing by Prime Minister S.Batbold about the current situation, and urged him to speed up ongoing projects to construct a new public maternity hospital for which Tg19 billion is allocated for this year.


          • #6
            Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital - klebsiella bacteria?

            Sepsis is bacterial. This one is confirmed. There must really be a lot wrong with that hospital if it will take three months to repair - disinfecting everything to kill the bacteria would only take a couple days - hence the mention of "profound" repair.


            Ulaanbaatar, /MONTSAME/ On Tuesday, Premier S.Batbold visited the city's first maternity hospital and the "Achtan" private hospital. The maternity hospital has been closed for a while from January 19 evening due to several lethal cases of sepsis among newborn babies. The city's Mayor G.Monkhbayar asked the Premier to issue money for profound repair in the maternity house. As calculated, some MNT 2.1 billion is required to complete the repair within three months.


            • #7
              Re: Mongolia: Alarming Newborn Deaths Shut Down Maternity Hospital - klebsiella bacteria?


              Tg 2.1 Billion Slated for Refurbishing Maternity Hospital in Light of Tragic Infant Deaths
              Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
              Friday, January 29, 2010.
              Due to the tragic deaths of four newborn babies, with four others needing to be transferred to other hospitals in critical condition, (believed to be caused by severe maintenance neglect), the Government of Mongolia has now projected Tg2.1 billion for complete renovation and maintenance work to be done at Ulaanbaatar’s Central Maternity Hospital, which was shut down soon after the first infant death from umbilical infection disease was reported earlier this month.
              An additional Tg470 million was projected for transferring mothers and newborn babies into yet another maternity hospital until the closed hospital re-opens to the public.
              Dozens of expecting mothers have now been transferred to three other hospitals, one of which is private. The health conditions of four other afflicted newborn babies were reported as critical, and one has gone through serious surgery.