Senegal health minister sacked after babies die in hospital fire

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The Senegalese President, Macky Sall, has sacked his Health Minister, Abdoulaye Sarr, following a hospital fire disaster in the country in which 11 newborns died and replaced him with another person.

The new Minister appointed by the President to avoid a vacuum in the administration of the country’s healthcare system is Marie Ndiaye.

Ndiaye, before his appointment as the new minister, was the Director-General of Public Health in the country and would be saddled with the responsibility of restoring Senegalese confidence in public healthcare facilities.

The new development was revealed yesterday, through a statement released by the president’s media handlers after families of newborn babies started to demand justice.

The 11 newborn babies died in a fire in the neonatal unit of Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the western city of Tivaouane on Wednesday, triggering public anger, with citizens blaming it on negligence.

Sarr, who was in Geneva, Switzerland, attending the annual assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO), had to cut his visit short following the incident.

On his return, he visited the hospital’s neonatology department to inquire about the circumstances of the deaths of the newborns and was led around by the medical experts to ascertain the extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor had earlier said that investigations were still ongoing to establish the exact cause of the fire and that justice would be served by bringing all those responsible to account.

 

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