“I express my deepest condolences to their mothers and their families,” he added.
In a statement late Thursday, the country’s health ministry said an emergency response plan had been put in place and “arrangements were being made to assist the families of the victims.”
Health Minister Abdulla Diouf, who was attending the World Health Conference in Geneva, has stopped his trip and will return to Senegal today, the ministry said in a statement.
The country’s interior minister, Antoine Felix Abdule Diome, told reporters on Wednesday night that President Saul had called for an investigation into the cause of the hospital fire.
“Beyond that, he (President Sal) asked us to review all the equipment and infrastructure that needs assistance with machinery for the care of newborns,” Dom said.
“We are going to do it here in all the hospitals in Downey and Senegal, where there is a newborn baby service,” he added.
Senegal’s Minister of Regional Planning and Local Government, Cheikh Bamba Dièye, described the death toll as “horrific and unacceptable”, while urging the country’s health systems to be inspected.
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