A drug-resistant bacterium known as Klebsiella is suspected to have killed eleven babies at Kenyatta National Hospital.

According to the Nation, the babies died last week due to Klebsiella and other factors, compounded by the poor state of the ward.

The nurses who take care of the neonates are said to have had to improvise feeding tubes and syringes, which cause bruises and bleeding in the babies’ noses and mouths.

Mother still express milk for the neonates every three hours which is fed to the babies through the nasogastric tube that can either go through the nose or mouth.

Deadly disease kills 11 babies at KNH
Deadly disease kills 11 babies at KNH

Inadequate hospital tools

The milk is then drawn into a syringe and then injected into the tube in drops, as the nurses wait on gravity to take it down the babies’ throats.

However, reports indicate that the tubes are out of stock, which forces the nurses to use syringes and other tubes used to aspirate for feeding the babies. 

Research shows that these tubes are inappropriate and hurts the newborn babies.

Causes of Klebsiella

A nurse attends to babies
A nurse attends to babies

The Nation also indicated that up to three children share a cot, putting them at risk of infecting each other with a bacterium like Klebsiella.

Medics state that Klebsiella is responsible for a significant proportion of hospital-acquired infections, especially in neonates.

The hands of healthcare workers and the gastrointestinal tract of hospitalized infants serve as reservoirs for the transmission of Klebsiella.