Child malnutrition mortality at St Barnabas Hospital is high -- is it due to practices and attitudes of staff?: a study in a rural district hospital.
The case fatality rate for malnutrition at St Barnabas Hospital over the past years has been around 38%. The rates in other district hospitals in the Eastern Cape province were found to be in excess of 30%. In June 2000, the Eastern Cape Department of Health introduced a protocol for in-patient management of children with severe malnutrition, with the aim of reducing case fatality rate below 10%. St Barnabas Hospital introduced the Eastern Cape protocol in August 2003. An evaluation was done in November 2003 to assess the protocol's impact on the case fatality rate. The rate remained high, at 37.5%. This study descibed the current practices and attitudes of the nurses as St Barnabas Hospital paediatric ward, in the management of severely malnourished childen.