outcry after the tragic death of a pregnant woman in the hospital

“The death of a pregnant woman in hospital after what the local press presented as a long pain and a refusal of care, arouses significant emotions in Senegal, and presses the head of state to respond and promise”all the lighton this drama.

The facts go back several days and took place at a public hospital in the town of Louga in the north of the country. According to the Senegalese press, Astou Sokhna, in her thirties, died married and pregnant for nine months, on April 7 after unsuccessfully requesting a caesarean section. The staff at the establishment reportedly rejected her request, claiming that her surgery was unplanned, and threatened to kick her out if she insisted. “Unacceptableheadline newspaper Liberation Monday.

An “administrative procedure” initiated

According to the media, the young woman waited for twenty hours for an intervention that never came before it expired, while uttering words that were widely disseminated on Monday and Tuesday on social networks: “Operate me because I do not know if I’m still here tomorrowHer baby was not rescued. The hospital’s director, Amadou Guèye Diouf, declared on Monday night that he hadinitiated an administrative procedure to shed light on the contours of this case […] and take the necessary measures“. The case spawned more and more headlines in the print and online press on Tuesday.

Says to havewith the greatest grief experienced Mrs. Astou Sokhna’s death in the hospital“President Macky Sall announced on Monday night”heartfelt condolences to his familyon the social network Snapchat, very popular among Senegalese women. “I instructed the competent authorities to shed light on the causes of death in order to locate all areas of responsibility. No errors will be tolerated“added the head of state and ensured that he had”to the heart“health sector and insist”every day to improve the care of the population“.

Lack of human, technical and financial resources

A country with a Muslim majority, Senegal has made significant progress in the field of women’s rights in recent years, as evidenced by the adoption in early April of a “law on the protection of pregnant women“, Which in particular should put an end to the widespread practice of dismissing an employee when she is pregnant. But the UN and rights activists regularly urge the authorities to do more to put an end to the discrimination, including legal discrimination, against women and the violence to which they are routinely subjected.

The Louga tragedy is the latest in a series of tragedies that have taken place in Senegal in the healthcare sector, with trade unions regularly lamenting the lack of human, technical and financial resources. Some have already hit the headlines, such as the death of four newborns in April 2021 after a fire at the hospital in the town of Linguère near Louga. “What hurts the most is when we Senegalese pretend to discover, terrified of what is happening in this country. Today is the hospital. Tomorrow, (it will be) another (thing). We will forget and we will move on to the next controversy. Everyday life is dramatic as it downplays everything“apologizes to a Twitter user on Tuesday.

On social networks, many messages condemn the treatment reserved for patients in public structures, and in particular the delays that force many patients to turn to the private sector, despite a higher cost. “We can not continue to hold God accountable for our actions“, a woman wrote on Twitter. A petition calling forjustice for Astouhas already received tens of thousands of signatures, and on Friday a march is planned in Louga on the same theme. According to the press, the victim’s husband filed a complaint with the local court on Monday.

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