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

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Senegal’s President Macky Sall has fired his health minister after 11 newborn babies were killed in a hospital fire blamed on an electrical short circuit.

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

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Sall declared three days of national mourning.

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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.

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

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The disaster sparked calls for the resignation of Health Minister Abdoudaye Diouf Sarr.

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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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