In Senegal, 11 children died in a fire in the Tifuan hospital

Eleven children died in a hospital fire in Tifuan, western Senegal, on Wednesday (May 25th). A drama that highlights serious shortcomings in this impoverished country’s public health system. “I have just learned of the pain and horror of the death of eleven newborns in the fire that occurred in the neonatology department of the hospital.” The audience of Tiffuan, the Senegalese president, Macky Sall, tweeted. “To their mothers and families, I express my deepest sympathy”he added.

Three children saved.said Dimba Diop, mayor of Tiffuan – a religious city, stronghold of the influential Muslim Brotherhood in Tidianis. Cause of the fire Short circuit and fire spread very quicklyMr. Diop, who is also a Member of Parliament and known as Diop C. “This situation is very unfortunate and very painful. An investigation is underway to find out what happened.” Health Minister Abdullah Diouf Sar told RFM radio on Wednesday. On a trip to Geneva, where he was attending a meeting of the World Health Organization, Mr Sarr announced he was returning to Senegal on Thursday.

Read also: In Senegal, a protest after the tragic death of a pregnant woman in hospital

We learned from the Ministry that a team from the Ministry of Health led by Director of Public Health Institutions Othman Diaa was on its way to Tifwan. It is also expected that the Minister of the Interior, Antoine Felix Abdallah Dieum, will descend from Wednesday night to Thursday in Tifuan, according to local newspapers. Sidi Jasama, head of Amnesty International’s Senegalese section, urged on Twitter “The government forms an independent commission of inquiry to determine responsibilities and punish the perpetrators.”on Twitter.

wave of indignation

“More burned children in a public hospital. This is unacceptable Macky Sall.”The opposition MP, Mamadou Lamine Diallo, tweeted. Four newborns had already died on April 25, 2021 in a fire in Linguère (North). The mayor and then the interior minister, Ali Nguel Ndiaye, had reported an electrical malfunction in the air conditioning unit in the maternity ward, where there were six children.

At the beginning of April, another tragedy in a public hospital had already disturbed Senegal. The press had reported the death of Asto Sokhna, a woman in her thirties who was nine months pregnant, in one day.Verse April in the hospital in Luga (North) after she waited in agony for twenty hours for the caesarean section she requested. The staff allegedly argued that her operation was unplanned and threatened to expel her if she persisted.

Read also: In Senegal, the debate against childbirth violence has swelled

This death sparked a wave of outrage on social media because of the shortcomings in the public health system. In the face of the protest caused by the death of Asto Sokhna, President Sall instructed him to seek responsibility. The Minister of Health admitted on April 14 that his death could have been avoided. The hospital director was dismissed and replaced. The Loja High Court sentenced three midwives who were on duty on the night of the tragedy to a suspended six-month prison sentence on May 11 for “failure to assist a person in danger”. Three other midwives were released, on request during the day, according to the defense attorney.

Another case in a public hospital caused a scandal recently. In Kaolack (center), a baby boy declared dead on May 8 was found by a nurse and then taken to the mortuary a few minutes later by his father alive, before finally dying during the day, according to the local press. On Wednesday, local newspapers reported that the prosecution had requested a strict six-month prison sentence against the nurse during the trial. The date of the ruling has not been specified.

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The world with AFP

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