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Senegalese Officials Arrest Two Health Workers Following Neonatal Fire

The eleven babies who died in a fire on Wednesday evening at the public hospital in Tivaouane (western Senegal) were buried on Sunday in the city’s cemetery, the mayor of Tivaouane says. According to the families’ wishes, the eleven babies were buried in the same ceremony. What happened on Wednesday evening at the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital is yet to be established. Witnesses report a fire spreading rapidly in the neonatal unit, and staff and users powerless to save the children. An electrical short-circuit is incriminated. On Friday, Senegalese President Macky Sall acknowledged the “obsolescence” of Senegal’s health system and ordered an audit of neonatal services so that the public hospital is “no longer a place of tragedy”. On Thursday Sall fired his health minister Diouf Sarr and has been replaced by a senior ministry official, Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, according to a government statement.