Tens of children in southern Romania with severe digestive infections have been hospitalised this month. Doctors believe the disease was caused by bacteria.
Romania was on point of being struck by a new national tragedy, after tens of children under 2, mostly from Arges County in southern Romania, ran the risk of loosing their lives after getting infected with E Coli. The Arges county authorities have declared a state of sanitary and medical emergency and are looking into the circumstances in which the children got infected with the bacteria, which made victims.
Experts say the toddlers and babies got the bacteria following the consumption of E. Coli infected foodstuffs and called on the sanitary-veterinary authorities to thoroughly check out some shops selling dairy products, meat, vegetables and fruit. There are however voices saying the babies and toddlers initially underwent a wrong treatment, at the Paediatric Hospital in Pitesti, which didn’t report the cases, as is provided by the law. For this reason, Romanian Health Minister Patriciu Achimas Cadariu has called for the resignation of the hospital’s management.
Patriciu Achimas Cadariu: “They have again failed to observe the law. The hospital didn’t notify the Public Health Directorate, once again. The doctor took the correct steps and referred the patients to a specialised hospital, but beyond that, there is a mechanism which involves a series of administrative measures, such as epidemiological tests and investigations, that should have been made after the patient’s report is compiled.”
The Manager of the Pediatric Hospital in Pitesti, Vasile Stan, has again made public his intention not to step down, with the hospital doctors threatening to step down together, if the manager is forced to resign.
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has called on the line minister to provide daily information communiqués on the results of the investigation into the case.Meanwhile some of the children have been transferred to the “Marie Curie” Hospital in Bucharest. Doctors say their health condition is improving and that there are no more severe cases.
Similar situations, when children lost their lives, have also been reported in the history of the Romanian healthcare system, after the 1989 Romanian Revolution. Six years ago, 6 babies left unattended by the nurse died in a fire at a maternity hospital in Bucharest. Civil society has repeatedly underlined the need to reform the Romanian healthcare system, which is at the bottom of a EU classification.
Unfortunately, many politicians who have been in power over the past 26 years have ignored the need for a fundamental and dramatic change of mentality in the system, considering that finalizing the reform required only a change of funding schemes and an annual increase in the already insufficient state budget allocation.
(Translated by Diana Vijeu)