Minister of Health John Boyce says the growing misuse of some drugs and inadequate hand washing are posing a “serious health care challenge” at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), where unwanted bacteria is now prevalant.
Addressing a ceremony marking the opening of Infection Control Week at the QEH this morning, Boyce reported that “in recent times there has been an increase presentation of bacteria, mainly MRSA [methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus], Klebsiella pneumonia in our critical care settings, especially the high dependency units and the medical intensive care units.
“It has been reported that this increase is linked to antibiotic misuse and inadequate hand washing on these units,” he added.
The Minister of Health said that the increase was recorded despite continued surveillance by the QEH’s Infection Control Unit.
“We recognize that the prevention methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus transmission and infections is a serious public health challenge with which our health system is grappling. The Ministry of Health in its determination to overcome this serious public health concern has adopted and multipronged approach to the management of infections that in time will minimize the burden it poses to individuals, families, our societies and the serious drain on public health finances.”
He also assured that the hospital was taking steps to address the situation, adding that “the implementation of the programme will have no upfront cost to the QEH.
“The pogramme, which will be supplemented pharmacology and medical students will develop and maintain an approval process for criteria managed antimicrobial drugs and non-formulary drugs with the objectives of optimizing antimicrobial drug effectiveness,” Boyce explained.