May 30, 2023

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Senegal: McKee Sal acknowledges the “abnormality” of the health system and orders an audit

# Senegal : Senegalese President Maggie Sal on Friday acknowledged the “abnormal state” of Senegal’s health system and ordered the public hospital to audit the services of newborns after eleven children died in a fire that was “no longer a place of tragedy”.

The head of state made the remarks to reporters after visiting the new tragic Divaune (West) General Hospital on Friday evening, where the deaths of these eleven children caused grief and outrage in the country.

After visiting the room where the children died, Saul said he was “heartbroken”.

“I have ordered that all newborn services be audited on their facilities (…) and equipment. The health care system is obsolete,” he said. .

>>> Read more: Senegal: Reactions following the dismissal of the Minister of Health following the tragedy of 11 children who died

“I want to call for accountability and awareness for everyone to use their business with (…) ethics,” he said.

The president said he had ordered a mission from the General State Inspectorate to “look at the quality of the infrastructure.”

Before heading to the hospital, McGee Sol met with Didian Caliph, one of the most important Muslim brothers in Senegal who plays an essential social role – Serigne Babkar Sai Mansour, who denounced the hospital’s condition several months ago.

Saul said he would meet the families of the missing children in the evening at the Caliph’s home.

This tragedy is meant to highlight the shortcomings of the country’s health system.

The president resigned on Thursday evening as his health minister, Abdullah Duff.

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Charge of negligence

Maggie Sal also declared three days of national mourning. As president of the African Union, he reduced his stay in Equatorial Guinea to Divaune.

>>> Read more: Terrible fire in Senegal: Health Minister fired

What happened Wednesday evening at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital has not yet been established. Witnesses said the fire was spreading rapidly in the newborn ward and that there were helpless staff and users to save the babies. An electrical short circuit occurred.

Allegations of negligence flew. But the mayor assured that two caretakers were in service when the facts came out. The new neonatology service, co-funded by a private company, will train staff on safety equipment and fire alarms by the end of 2021, he said.

But, in one year, the death of children in a public hospital is the third event to disrupt public opinion. Aside from calls for sanctions, it has raised the issue of part of the authorities’ passive allegations.

The people of Senegal were moved by the tragic fate of the death of four newborns in the neonatology department of Linguère Hospital in April 2021 and the death of a pregnant woman Astu Sokna with her baby. A year later his relatives describe a long agony and denial of care at Luca Hospital.

His rule was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”AFP Nina Penta Fe, spokeswoman for patients at risk. The group, formed after Asto Sokna’s death, received at least 500 testimonies from Senegal in 72 hours on medical errors or abuse cases.