SUPERBUG AT NRH - Solomon Star News


09 July 2020

A LOOMING health crisis is at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) as knowledge of what is now known as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is detected at our national hospital.

Health authorities are tight-lipped about this likely emerging health crisis as fear of multi-drug resistance among some patients become evident.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it termed ‘AMR’ as when micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungus) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs resulting in the drugs becoming ineffective or being resistant.

“AMR threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi.

“Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). 

“Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as ‘superbugs’.

“As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others,” according to the WHO website.

A concerned mother, who is aware of this health concern, said health authorities should lock down the national hospital and test all those who are exposed to the hospital environment.

“There are concerns of emerging antimicrobial resistance in the hospital which needs to be addressed,” she said.

A female nursing officer working at NRH last night admitted the situation saying it has been a concern at the hospital that requires immediate attention.

The officer who declined to be named said requests have been made to the NRH management to address the situation sometimes ago.

“However, due to the current COVID-19, little attention was given. But it's serious and a health concern that needs attention because when someone is resistant to medications their health is at risk,” she said. 

The multi-drug resistance organism (superbug) increases infection that can spread through sores, sharing of toilets, shower, and wheelchair. 

The officer said a number of patients are being placed in isolation over this already. 

The officer said maintaining hygiene at the hospital is one way to control and reduce the spread.

“This superbug poses risk to other patients, guardians, and health workers at the hospital,” the officer said.

National Referral Hospital Chief Executive Officer (supervising) Dr. John Hue last night in an exclusive interview said they are aware of the superbug. 

“What happens is we have the document with us about the virus and hopefully once the ministry approves the statement then it will be released to the media,” said Dr. Hue. 

He explained due to the current state of the emergency (SOE) situation the country faces it had slowed some of their work.

“But through government normal procedures, the press statement is now with health communications waiting for the ministry’s approval before they release the statement,” he said last night.