Clinical trial in SA injects new hope for difficult-to-treat sepsis in newborns

24 May 2023



23 May 2023 

Thousands of newborns die within the first few weeks of life in South Africa due to sepsis, with statistics showing that bacterial infections remain the leading cause of mortality.

Public health experts warn that given the substantial number of antimicrobial resistance and outbreaks of infections in the country’s neonatal units, including the high number of deaths in Africa — about 250,000 and 1-million infections each year — many African countries were not expected to meet the UN sustainable development goal of reducing newborn mortality to less than 12 per 1,000 live births by 2020.

But a groundbreaking international clinical trial that has just started in South Africa to evaluate new antibiotic combinations for newborn babies with sepsis offers hope that this trajectory will change and evolve into life-saving treatments for this life-threatening condition.


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