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Hospital fire kills 11 babies in Tivaouane hospital Senegal

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Public health is in the spotlight again in Senegal as a fire outbreak at a hospital in Senegal has killed eleven newborn babies in the western Senegalese city of Tivaouane.

The president of the country, Macky Sall announced the unfortunate death of the infants late Wednesday on Twitter

TRANSLATION:

“I have just learned with pain and consternation of the death of 11 newborn babies in the fire that occurred in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane.

To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy.”

According to Senegalese politician Diop Sy, the fire, which was caused by “a short circuit”, occurred at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the transport hub of Tivaouane. “The fire spread very quickly,” he said.

The city’s mayor Demba Diop said “three babies were saved”.

According to local media, the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital was newly inaugurated.

Health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who was in Geneva attending a meeting with the World Health Organization, said he would return to Senegal immediately.

“This situation is very unfortunate and extremely painful,” he said on radio. “An investigation is under way to see what happened.”

Recall that in April, six midwives are being prosecuted in connection to the death of Astou Sokhna, a pregnant woman who died after a long wait for a Caesarean section for hours in a public hospital.

Meanwhile, the country director for right organization, Amnesty International, Seydi Gassama said his organization had called for an inspection and upgrade for neonatology services in hospitals across Senegal after the “atrocious” death of the four babies in Linguere.

“April 24, 2021, four (4) dead babies following a fire in the neonatology department of Linguère hospital.

May 25, 2022, eleven (11) calcined dead babies following a fire in the neonatology department of Tivaouane hospital

“After the atrocious death of the 4 newborns at the Linguère hospital on April 24, 2021, we asked for the opening of an investigation to locate the responsibilities but also and above all, an inspection and an upgrade of the neonatology services. of all hospitals in Senegal.” Gassama tweeted.

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Sudan recalls Ambassador from Addis Ababa after accusing Ethiopia of executing soldiers

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Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after accusing the Ethiopian army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who had been held in captivity.

The Sudanese military had said on Sunday that the Ethiopian soldiers had executed the captives and displayed their bodies in public while negotiations were ongoing for their release, promising that there would be “an appropriate response” to the execution.

“It is an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives.

“This treacherous act will not pass without a response,” the Sudanese military said.

The Ethiopian government however, denied complicity by its military in the killing of the Sudanese soldiers, blaming the Sudanese forces for crossing into its territory and provoking a clash.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa, issued a statement expressing regret over the incident but said Ethiopia has been misrepresented.

“The Government of Ethiopia categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia, while it was the Sudanese army unit that crossed (over) the Ethiopian border, provoking the incident.”

But in an announcement late Monday, Sudan said it would recall its envoy from Addis Ababa as well as summon the Ethiopian ambassador from Khartoum.

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Uganda’s Government changes position, invites striking art teachers for negotiations

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The Ugandan government has made a turn on its decision to sack all arts teachers involved in the industrial action.

The change in position comes barely days after the government threatened to dismiss the teachers. Minister Raphael Magyezi had revealed that the government had reached a final position to have Arts striking teachers sacked if they do not get back to class.

The government backed down and invited the leaders of the tutors’ union for negotiations to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning in public schools for two weeks now.

Art teachers across Uganda downed tools last week, threatening to throw the country’s education sector into yet another crisis, a few months after schools came out of two years of a shutdown that kept thousands of learners at home.

The general secretary of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union, Mr Aron Mugaiga, had advised the leadership of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) to encourage their art counterparts to return to class.

“I urge members to go back and teach because if they continue with the industrial action, the lost time will never be recovered when the government affects their pay enhancement. I believe the doors for negotiations are still open,” Mr Mugaiga said.

The ongoing strike is just five months after Uganda reopened schools following a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has already caused outrage as more than eight million children in public schools miss out on learning.

Over 300 percent pay increment was allocated for science teachers in Uganda’s budget for the 2022/23 financial year, which starts in July but the allocation does not include arts and humanities teachers.

It is not uncommon to see prolonged industrial actions in Africa. Elsewhere in the continent, Nigeria, University teachers have been on strike since February over salary related agreement the academic union had with the government in 2009.

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