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National Neonatal Sepsis Task Force launch: Supporting infection prevention and surveillance, outbreak investigation and antimicrobial stewardship in neonatal units in South Africa

A Dramowski, S Velaphi, G Reubenson, A Bekker, O Perovic, H Finlayson, A Duse, N R Rhoda, N P Govender

Abstract


Despite a substantial decline in childhood mortality rates in South Africa (SA), progress in neonatal mortality reduction has been much slower. Severe bacterial infections remain a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and a direct cause of 13.1% of neonatal deaths among babies >1 kg. The incidence of hospital-acquired infections, antimicrobial resistance and outbreaks of infections in SA neonatal units is substantial, and is possibly higher than the currently available estimates. The SA Neonatal Sepsis Task Force was launched in Port Elizabeth, SA, on 13 September 2019 to provide technical advice and guidance on surveillance for neonatal sepsis, infection prevention, case management, antimicrobial stewardship and containment of neonatal unit outbreaks.


Authors' affiliations

A Dramowski, Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

S Velaphi, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

G Reubenson, Empilweni Service and Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

A Bekker, Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

O Perovic, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a Division of the National Health Laboratory Service and School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

H Finlayson, Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A Duse, Division of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Pathology, National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

N R Rhoda, Department of Neonatology and Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

N P Govender, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a Division of the National Health Laboratory Service and School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Neonate; Infection prevention; Surveillance; Antibiotic stewardship; Outbreak

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(5):360-363. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i5.14564

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-04-29
Date published: 2020-04-29

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