Deaths of Two Manenberg Infants under Investigation
Media Release by Western Cape Provincial Government and City of Cape Town
The Province and the City would like to extend their deepest condolences to the families of the two babies who died yesterday.
The Manenberg Clinic, serviced by the City of Cape Town, is cooperating fully with the South African Police Service's (SAPS) investigation into the deaths of two infants, aged 14 weeks and five months respectively.
The Western Cape Department of Health's forensic pathology services are conducting the autopsies to investigate the cause of death. Only once the results of the autopsies have been received will it be possible to determine whether the two deaths are related in any way.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says, "I am shocked and sad at two simultaneous deaths at the facility. We will investigate the incidences. At this difficult time, I understand that the people of Manenberg are upset and frustrated. Where they have genuine complaints about any services I encourage them to communicate this via the existing channels so that we can respond and improve the service we provide. It is very difficult to address problems if we do not know exactly what those problems are, and I encourage our patients to point them out so that we can address them."
"All City Health clinics have copies of the City's Patient Charters visible with contact details for the public to phone in the event that they are not happy with the service received and all our staff is required to wear name badges. We encourage the public to report any complaints or problems to the clinic manager, sub-district manager, district manager or the executive director in order that they can be fully investigated and action taken if appropriate."
The 14-week-old baby boy, Tyler le Grange, was brought to the clinic at around 10:00 yesterday to receive his regular 14th-week vaccinations. The baby did not show any problems when his mother left the clinic with him. The mother brought the baby back to the clinic at approximately 11:40, but emergency resuscitation efforts unfortunately failed. No other children that received vaccinations on the day were brought back to the clinic with any complications.
The mother of the five-month-old baby girl, Zakia Williams, arrived at the clinic at approximately 14:40. The child was not breathing and unfortunately emergency measures taken to resuscitate the baby were unsuccessful.
The preliminary report by the clinic manager and nursing staff on duty indicated that both babies appeared to be dead when they were brought into the clinic yesterday.
On a daily basis, the Manenberg Clinic's staff complement of eight medical staff and four non-medical staff assists approximately 173 patients. Health care services at the Manenberg Clinic are continuing as usual.
Ms Faiza Steyn
Director of Communications
Office of the Head of Health
Provincial Government of the Western Cape Department of Health
Tel: 021 483 3235
Fax: 021 483 6169
Cell: 082 801 6960