Six Senegalese midwives charged over pregnant woman's death

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
iStock

Six midwives in Senegal have been charged over a pregnant woman's death in hospital this month, their lawyer said Wednesday, in an affair that sparked outrage in the West African nation.

Astou Sokhna died at nine months pregnant in a public hospital in early April in the northern town of Louga after she repeatedly pleaded with doctors to perform a caesarean section.

But the hospital refused her request on the grounds that the operation had not been planned in advance, and threatened to expel her if she insisted on the procedure, according to press reports.

Sokhna and her baby both died after a reported 20-hour wait, provoking an outpouring of anger on social media in Senegal. The president also promised to launch a probe.

Local press initially reported that she died on 7 April, but Senegalese Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sall recently said that her death occurred on 1 April.

On Wednesday, lawyer Abdou Daff told AFP that six midwives had been charged for failing to assist a person in danger.

Four were detained in Louga on Tuesday evening, he said, while the remaining two have been released provisionally.

The healthcare workers union ASAS began a three-day strike Wednesday over the detention of the midwives, as well as pay conditions.

In a statement, it accused the government of failing to await the results of the investigation and of throwing health workers "to the media lynch mob".


We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 364 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4471 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 631 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.09
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.21
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.74
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,660.90
0.0%
Silver
19.03
0.0%
Palladium
2,166.50
0.0%
Platinum
864.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE