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Sep 16, 2014

Improvements at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit One Year After Thirteen Babies Died

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

Very real and still vivid in the minds of many Belizeans is the deaths of seven babies inside the neonatal intensive care unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital back in May of 2013. According to a report by PAHO, the unit was not up to standard nor were quality control measures in place. At the anniversary celebration of the K.H.M.H. on Monday, Chairlady of the Board of Governors, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino said that the inauguration of the neonatal and adult intensive care units will prevent similar catastrophes. According to Nisbet-Cansino, the K.H.M.H. now boasts the premiere intensive care units for both neonates and adults including the private sector.


Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Chairlady, Board of Governors

“With the neonatal intensive care unit, where we can now accommodate twenty-one neonates in a much expanded area, we have space now to accommodate a little bit more than we did before because the care of children include families as well. So I think it will have a very great impact on very ill patients. Unfortunately, you have to be ill to understand the great work that the physicians and the staff are doing with the units. But I guess you can all sleep a little better tonight should anybody become very ill, that they will be well taken care of here at the K.H.M.H.—adults and children.”



“How would you answer the criticism that great, you’ve made a great step forward with the neonatal intensive care unit, but at the same time it was at a great and awful cost because thirteen children had to die in May of 2013 for that to happen.”


Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“That will always be in the bitter sweetness of that event. We still are very, very sorry about all of the babies that passed away during that outbreak. Unfortunately, as they alluded to in the speeches, it is not isolated to Karl Heusner; we can never say it will not happen again, but with the facilities that we have now, the chances of it happening is very low.”



“Would you explain specifically the provisions that have been taken to contain infections, isolate infections and ensure that at all times the higher standards of hygiene and germ preventions are met?”


Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

“Well it is a very technical job. We fallow the PAHO recommendations as they were given to us; we had deadlines that we had to meet. We basically met most of those deadlines; I think we have a couple more that we have to finalize. That included the strengthening of the Infection Control Unit; we have new persons in place in some of those areas. The present units are built to ensure that the cleaning of the area is easier; it is more up to international standards for intensive care units. And so along with the PAHO guidelines and the other investments that Karl Heusner has made, I can say that we are definitely way ahead than we were a couple years ago.”


Still on the hospital, the K.H.M.H. will be looking for a new C.E.O. with the planned retirement of Gary Longsworth at the end of the month.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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