President Paul Kagame has sent a condolence message to his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall, following a hospital fire incident in the town of Tivaouane, which claimed 11 newborn babies.
The babies died after a blaze caused by a reported short circuit swept through a neonatology department of Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane, which is located 120km east of the capital Dakar.
President Kagame, who was attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, sent a condolence message to the Senegalese leader and people via Twitter.
“Dear President @Macky_Sall our deep condolences to you and Senegal for the tragic loss of these very young lives! Bless.” President Kagame tweeted.
President Sall, who said will cut short his visit to Angola to return home in the wake of the tragedy, was the first to break the news of the blaze, which has angered nationals, who blamed it on negligence.
I have just learned with pain and consternation of the death of 11 new-born babies in the fire that occurred in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane. To their mothers and families, I express my deepest sympathy,” President Sall tweeted.
President Sall had just arrived in Luanda for a state visit right from Geneva, Switzerland where he had attended the World Health Assembly.
The Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who said that the incident was unfortunate and painful, was subsequently sacked in the wake of the tragedy at the hospital, which was inaugurated recently.
Demba Diop Sy, the mayor of Tivaouane, one of Senegal’s holy cities and a transport hub, said three babies were saved.
The tragedy in Tivaouane came after several other incidents at public health facilities in Senegal, including one at a hospital in the northern town of Linguere in April last year, claiming four new-born babies. The fire was also blamed on an electrical malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward.