PAHO team probing baby deaths completes in-country mission

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Port of Spain General Hospital. – File photo

The Ministry of Health says the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has completed the “in-country mission” part of its investigation into a bacterial outbreak at the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) between April 4 and 9.

The three-member team, which includes a university professor, a clinical microbiologist and the head of a neonatal intensive care unit at a regional hospital, landed in Trinidad and Tobago on April 22.

Dr Nalini Singh is a professor at George Washington University and well-published author with almost 50 years of experience in medicine.

She has served as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s National Health System and worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of its Antimicrobial Resistance Team and as an expert adviser for its Infection Prevention and Control Framework and Toolkit.

Clinical microbiologist Dr Grisel Rodriguez is a Uruguay-based PAHO consultant and head of microbiology at the Centro de Asistencia Medica Soriano.

She has a master’s degree in infection control from the University of Barcelona and has won a PAHO award for innovation in the prevention and control of respiratory infections.

Dr Gillian Birchwood is head of the NICU at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.

She is a member of the WHO’s Guideline Development Groups and has presented on paediatric care throughout the Caribbean region including St Vincent, St Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, St Kitts, Grenada and the British Virgin Islands.

Dr Gillian Birchwood. –

The ministry on April 24 said the team had begun its work.

In a statement on April 26, the ministry said the team met with senior officials from the ministry and the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) for a debriefing.

The team’s work is not yet done, as a report is expected to be submitted, but no timeline was given.

“The public is advised that the PAHO review will continue, which will lead to the preparation of a final report being submitted to the Ministry of Health, pending the completion of PAHO’s internal processes.”

It added, “In the interim, the ministry and the NWRHA will continue to work with PAHO to facilitate the completion of the independent review.”