Update: Death of Two Manenberg Infants under Investigation | Western Cape Government


Update: Death of Two Manenberg Infants under Investigation

2 June 2011

The death of the five-month-old baby girl was not related to the vaccination as the autopsy results indicated that the baby died of natural causes. She was presented as dead on arrival at the clinic. She was not vaccinated on that particular day. The second baby, the 14-week-old baby boy, was presented to the clinic to receive his scheduled vaccines on the day and later brought back to the Manenburg Clinic, not breathing. Autopsy results are not yet available. The two incidents are not related. It was unfortunate and coincidental that the two babies presented on the same day.

Regarding the protocols and safety issues of the issuing of vaccines, please note the following: each vaccine comes with an expiry date. Explicit cold chain protocol guidelines exist and are strictly adhered to. Vaccines are kept in fridges between two and eight degrees centigrade at all times. Babies are administered appropriate vaccine injections at scheduled times, appropriate to their age. Protocol guidelines are in place to determine exact sites where injections/vaccinations are administered. Site inspections are done regularly by health workers to see to it that all protocols are adhered to, that sterile techniques are in place and that infection-control precautions are adhered to at al times.

Vaccinating babies against life-threatening diseases is an acceptable medical procedure, is encouraged world wide and is considered to be relatively safe.

The Road to Health booklet or card clearly indicates the date, name of vaccine and batch number administered to the child; the cards or booklet should be rechecked for appropriate batch numbers at all times.

When the vaccine comes into the country, it is strictly controlled by the Medicines Control Council and kept in quarantine for six weeks to be tested before release to the department.

According to our records, there was no mass transferral from Manenberg Clinic to Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital over the last few days.

Media Enquiries: 

Faiza Steyn
Director of Communications
Western Cape Department of Health
Cell: 082 801 6960
Tel: 021 483 3235
Fax: 021 483 6169
E-mail: Fsteyn@pgwc.gov.za