The Littlest Ones

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A hospital fire in western Senegal killed 11 newborn babies this week, a tragedy that has prompted outrage over the country’s poor medical facilities, NBC News reported Thursday.

The fire took place in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the western town of Tivaouane. Authorities said the incident appeared to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. Health authorities have launched an investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and other politicians are calling for a full review of Senegal’s public health system, saying that such accidents have become commonplace, according to the Washington Post.

Last year, a similar fire killed four newborns at a hospital in the northern town of Linguère. Maternity care has also come under intense public scrutiny recently following the death of a woman in labor who was denied a Caesarian section.

Senegalese doctors have lamented the faulty equipment and shaky upkeep that exists in many facilities, noting that such tragedies lead to a loss of trust in the public health system when that trust determines how a country handles outbreaks or pandemics.

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