The president of Senegal stated late Wednesday that eleven newborn babies died in a hospital fire in the western city of Tivaouane.
Macky Sall, a Senegalese journalist, tweeted shortly before midnight that 11 babies had died in the fire.
He wrote, “I’ve just learned with grief and dismay of the loss of 11 newborn babies in the fire at the public hospital’s neonatal department.”
“I convey my heartfelt sadness to their moms and families,” Sall continued.
According to Senegalese lawmaker Diop Sy, the incident occurred at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane’s transportation center.
He said, “The fire spread really quickly.”
“Three newborns were spared,” claimed Demba Diop, the mayor of the city.
The Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital, according to local media, was just established.
Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s health minister, said he will return home immediately after a meeting with the World Health Organization in Geneva.
“This is a really regrettable and extremely painful scenario,” he stated on the radio. “An investigation into what occurred is underway.”
The catastrophe in Tivaouane follows a series of comparable instances at public health institutions in Senegal, where there is a significant discrepancy in healthcare services between urban and rural areas.
A hospital fire killed four newborn newborns in the northern town of Linguere in late April. An electrical failure in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward, according to the mayor of that town.
‘Enough is enough,’ as the saying goes.
The event occurred just over a month after the death of a pregnant woman who had waited for a Caesarean section in vain.
Astou Sokhna, a woman from the northern city of Louga, had arrived in pain to a hospital there. Her desire for a C-section had been denied by the personnel, who said it was not scheduled.
She died 20 hours after arriving, on April 1st.
Sokhna’s death sparked a nationwide outcry about the quality of Senegal’s public health system, and two weeks later, health minister Sarr admitted that the death may have been prevented.
The High Court of Louga condemned three midwives to six months of suspended jail for “failure to aid a person in danger” in connection with Sokhna’s death on May 11.
Following the “atrocious” deaths of the four newborns in Linguere, Amnesty International’s Senegal director, Seydi Gassama, called for an inspection and enhancement of neonatology services in hospitals across Senegal.
With the latest tragedy on Wednesday, Amnesty International “urges the government to establish an independent commission of investigation to assess blame and prosecute the perpetrators, regardless of their position within the state machinery,” he tweeted.
Mamadou Lamine Diallo, an opposition lawmaker, was equally outraged by the fire in Tivaouane that killed the babies.
He tweeted, “More infants incinerated in a public hospital… this is terrible @MackySall.”
“We sympathize with the bereaved family to whom we have expressed our condolences. It’s time to move on.”