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Hospital fire in Senegal kills 11 babies

Kaba, the mother of a 10-day-old baby who died in a hospital fire in Tivaouane, cries in pain, May 26, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

The fire broke out at the Neonatal Department of Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the western town of Tivaouane, Senegalese President Macky Sall said on Twitter.

Senegal’s Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, told local media that the cause of the incident was hospital fire appears to have been caused by an electrical short, Reuters reported.

Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital did not respond to multiple phone calls requesting comment.

Opposition politician Mamadou Lamine Diallo called the tragedy “unacceptable” and said: “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims.”

Senegal President Macky Sall, currently in Geneva (Switzerland) to attend a meeting of the World Health Organization, said he would shorten the trip and return to Senegal immediately.

A hospital fire in Senegal left 11 babies dead - Photo 1.

Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital, where the fire killed 11 infants. (Photo: Linda Ikeji’s Blog)

Similarly, the country’s Minister of Health Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who is attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, shortened his trip to return to Senegal.

This is not the first incident at a public health facility in Senegal, where most of the population lives below the poverty line and access to healthcare is limited in rural areas. .

A similar fire killed four infants in 2021 at a hospital in the northern town of Linguère.

A series of other deaths have raised concerns about the health of mothers and babies in this West African country. In early May 2022, Senegalese authorities discovered a child, declared dead by a nurse, still alive in the morgue. This infant later passed away.

In 2021, a pregnant woman died in Louga, Northern Senegal, after waiting in vain for a cesarean section. Three midwives were given six-month suspended prison sentences for not helping a person in danger.

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