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Horror as 11 newborns die in Senegal hospital blaze

ELEVEN infants were killed on Wednesday when the neonatology department at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane caught fire. Picture: David Ritchie/ African News Agency (ANA)

ELEVEN infants were killed on Wednesday when the neonatology department at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane caught fire. Picture: David Ritchie/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 26, 2022

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Cape Town – Eleven infants were killed on Wednesday when the neonatology department at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane caught fire.

Tivaouane city is located in the Thiès region of Senegal.

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“I have just learned with pain and consternation of the death of 11 newborn babies in the fire that occurred in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane. To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy, ” President Macky Sall said in a statement on Twitter.

According to local media, the horrific incident was reportedly caused by "a short circuit," further revealing the frailty of the Senegalese healthcare infrastructure.

“Three babies were saved," said the mayor of Tivaouane, Demba Diop. ”The fire was caused by "a short circuit and the fire spread very quickly," added Diop, who is also an MP and is better known as Diop Sy, according to AFP.

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Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s health minister, told local media that a short circuit had triggered the fire, according to a preliminary investigation.

“This situation is very unfortunate and extremely painful,” he said on radio, adding that the investigation was continuing.

“From Geneva for the (meeting) of the World Health Assembly, we learnt with distress, the deadly fire that occurred at the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane.

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“We dispatched a delegation led by our cabinet director to the spot and immediately shortened our stay for an immediate return to Dakar,” Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, the country’s health minister said yesterday morning. “Our condolences to all the families affected by this tragedy.”

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