Senegal, outcry after tragic death of Satou in hospital

The facts date back several days and happened in a public hospital in the city of Louga in the north of the country.

According to the Senegalese press, Astou Sokhna, in her thirties, married and nine months pregnant, died there on April 7 after unsuccessfully requesting a Caesarean section.

The facility’s staff reportedly turned down her request, arguing that her surgery was not planned, and threatened to throw her out if she insisted.

“Unacceptable” headlined the newspaper on Monday release.

According to the media, the young woman waited twenty hours for an intervention that never came before expiring while uttering words circulated on social networks Monday and Tuesday: “Operate me because I don’t know if I’ll still be here tomorrow.” Your baby was not saved.

The director of the hospital, Amadou Guèye Diouf, declared on Monday evening to have April 11th “An administrative proceeding has been initiated to clarify the contours of this case […] and take the appropriate measures”.

to have say “It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Ms. Astou Sokhna in hospital,” President Macky Sall issued a statement Monday night “Condolences to his family” on the social network Snapchat, which is very popular among Senegalese women.

A petition calls for “Justice for Astou”

“I have directed the relevant authorities to fully investigate the causes of death to determine all responsibilities. No failure will be tolerated,” added the head of state, assuring that he did “to heart” the health sector and insist on it “every day to improve the care of the population”.

The Ministry of Health says it has sent missions to Louga Hospital “to know the circumstances of death” of pregnant women and “Identify responsibilities and take appropriate action” in a statement Tuesday night.

Senegal, a majority Muslim country, has made significant progress in the area of ​​women’s rights in recent years, as evidenced by the passage in early April of an a “Pregnancy Protection Act”, is intended in particular to put an end to the widespread practice of dismissing a pregnant employee.

However, the United Nations and human rights defenders regularly urge the authorities to do more to end the discrimination, including legal discrimination, suffered by women and the violence they routinely face.

The Louga tragedy is the latest in a series of tragedies in the health sector in Senegal, where unions regularly complain of a lack of human, technical and financial resources.

Some have already made headlines, such as the death of four newborns in April 2021 following a hospital fire in the town of Linguère, near Louga.

“What hurts the most is when we Senegalese pretend to be shocked to discover what is happening in this country. Today it is the hospital. Tomorrow (will be) another (thing). next controversy. Daily life is dramatic in that it trivializes everything.” complained on Tuesday a Twitter user.

On social networks, many messages denounce the treatment reserved for patients in public institutions and, in particular, the delays that lead many patients to turn to private sector services, despite higher costs.

A petition calls “Justice for Astou” has already collected tens of thousands of signatures, and a march on the same subject is planned for Friday in Louga. According to the press, the victim’s husband filed a complaint with the district court on Monday.

With AFP

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