Senegal’s president sacks health minister after deadly fire

11 newborn babies died in fire in neonatal unit of hospital in western city of Tivaouane

James Tasamba   | 27.05.2022
Senegal’s president sacks health minister after deadly fire Senegal’s President Macky Sall / Credit:

KIGALI, Rwanda

Senegal’s President Macky Sall sacked his health minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, on Thursday following a hospital fire in which 11 newborns were killed. 

In a presidential decree read on public television, Sall named Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye as the new health minister.

Ndiaye formerly served as the director general of public health.

Eleven 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 attending the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (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.

The public prosecutor said Thursday that investigations were still ongoing to establish the exact cause of the fire, telling reporters that justice will be served by bringing all those responsible to account.

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