Tunisia minister says hospital infection killed 12 newborns

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Tunisian temporarily appointed health minister Sonia Ben Cheikh speaks during a press conference in the capital Tunis on March 11, 2019. (AFP)
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A photo taken March 11, 2019, shows students demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Health in Tunis, after a dozen newborn babies died as a result of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infection. A dozen newborn babies whose deaths at a Tunisian state hospital sparked public outrage are believed to have been killed by an infection acquired in the clinic, the acting health minister said.(AFP)
Updated 11 March 2019
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Tunisia minister says hospital infection killed 12 newborns

  • “The whole health sector is in a state of emergency,” the minister said
  • PM vows that “those responsible for any negligence” will face prosecution

TUNIS: A dozen newborn babies whose deaths at a Tunisian state hospital sparked public outrage are believed to have been killed by an infection acquired in the clinic, the acting health minister said Monday.
Sonia Ben Cheikh told a news conference that a 12th infant had died at the Rabta state hospital in Tunis on Sunday.
According to the preliminary findings of the ongoing investigation, a nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infection caused the deaths, she said.
“The whole health sector is in a state of emergency,” she told a news conference.
Reforms were needed to restore confidence, added Ben Cheikh, whose predecessor resigned Saturday in the face of a growing outcry over the deaths.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed swiftly vowed that “those responsible for any negligence” will face prosecution.
Officials launched medical and judicial investigations after the premature babies began dying on Thursday at the Rabta state hospital in Tunis.
The public health system, once a source of pride in Tunisia, has been hit by management and financial problems that lowered standards and caused drug shortages.


Airplane catches fire at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, 50 passengers still aboard

Updated 16 min 19 sec ago
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Airplane catches fire at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, 50 passengers still aboard

LONDON: An airliner caught fire on landing at Tehran's Mehrabad airport on Tuesday but all 100 passengers were evacuated without injury, the head of Iran's emergency department said on state television.

Pir-Hossein Kolivand said the fire broke out after the aircraft's landing gear did not open properly, and was later brought under control.

More to follow.