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In a Press Conference held early this week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stated that the factors which affected the seven neonatal sepsis deaths at the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) “strongly point to some degree of negligence”. He added that early onset newborn sepsis which resulted to the infants’ deaths “could not have been hospital acquired, the infection was really from the mothers.”

According to the joint medical team assigned to investigate the RMC neonatal sepsis case, the infants’ deaths were an “outbreak of highly fatal early onset newborn sepsis.’ He added that “mother-to-child transmission had occurred even before delivery.”

“Some ‘Degree of Negligence’ is not even an adequate description of what transpired in the delivery room of Rizal Medical Center (RMC) on the day of Oct. 4 , 2006. We are outraged by the attempts of the Department of Health to minimize the gravity of the neonatal sepsis deaths at the RMC.” Medical Action Group (MAG) Executive Director, Edeliza Hernandez said.