Senegal Fires Health Minister Over Death of Newborn Babies

Senegal Fires Health Minister Over Death of Newborn Babies (News Central TV)

Senegal President Macky Sall has fired his Health Minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, following the death of 11 newborn babies in a hospital fire on Wednesday.

A late night hospital fire in the western Senegalese city of Tivaouane killed eleven newborn babies, President Macky Sall said late Wednesday.

The tragedy incident occurred at the newly inaugurated Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the transport hub of Tivaouane, and was caused by “a short circuit”, according to Senegalese official Diop Sy.

Following the tragedy in Tivaouane City, Sarr will be replaced by the ministry’s director general, Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye.

An electrical short circuit is being blamed for the fire that quickly engulfed the newborn unit at the Tivaouane hospital.

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President Sall has called for a three-day national mourning period. He also directed that an investigation into the tragedy be launched.

President of Senegal Macky Sall

On Saturday, he plans to travel to Tivaouane to meet the babies’ relatives.

According to many observers, Senegal’s health system is plagued by staffing, infrastructure, equipment, and funding issues.

A number of other deaths have also raised concerns about maternal and infant health in the West African country, which is known for having some of the best hospitals in the region.

A similar incident occurred in the northern town of Linguere in late April, when a fire broke out at a hospital and four newborn babies were killed. The mayor of that town had cited an electrical malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward.

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Wednesday’s disaster comes over a month after the nation was rocked by news of the death of a pregnant woman who waited in vain for a Caesarean section.

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