Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, President Macky Sall’s health minister, has been sacked.
A government decree was issued, according to news reports, after 11 babies were killed in a fire in a hospital neonatal ward. According to the decree, Sarr will be replaced by Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, the ministry’s director general.
On May 25, 2022, a fire ravaged the neonatal unit of the MameAbdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in the western city of Tivaouane. According to reports, the fire was started by a short circuit in the hospital. Demba Diop, the city’s mayor, stated that three babies were saved.
The tragedy comes after 11 newborn babies died in a fire at a hospital in Linguere, whose mayor attributed the fire to an electrical malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward. In April, a pregnant woman died in a Louga hospital after being denied a Caesarean section.
Amnesty International has called for neonatology services in hospitals across the country to be inspected and upgraded. Seydi Gassama, the group’s Senegal director, urged the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the latest tragedy in a Twitter post.