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Senegal’s President fires Health Minister after hospital fire killed 11 babies

Senegal’s President Macky Sall has fired his Health Minister, Abdoudaye Diouf Sarr after 11 newborn babies were killed in a hospital fire blamed on an electrical short circuit.

The tragedy occurred late Wednesday, May 25, in the western city of Tivaouane and it was the latest in a series of hospital deaths that have exposed the weaknesses of the nation’s healthcare system.

Sall declared three days of national mourning.

He wrote in Twitter: “I have just learned with pain and dismay about the deaths of 11 newborn babies in the fire at the neonatal department of the public hospital.

“To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy.”

The disaster sparked calls for the resignation of Diouf Sarr.

The Presidency said on Thursday evening, May 26, that the Health Minister would be replaced by Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, formerly the Director-General of the Public Health Authority.

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