The midwives of the birth scandal in Senegal are suspended – The Citizen



A Senegalese Court Wednesday handed a six-month suspended sentence to three midwives in the high-profile case of a future mother who died in agony after asking for hours to receive a caesarean section.

The three midwives were found guilty of not assisting someone in danger, while three of their colleagues were acquitted, AFP reporters said.

The case involved Astou Sokhna, a woman in her thirties who was in the ninth month of pregnancy.

According to local media, she was admitted for pain to a public hospital in the northern city of Louga, where she began receiving a caesarean section.

The staff refused, claiming the operation was not scheduled and even threatened to remove her from the hospital if she continued with her request, reports say.

She died in agony on the night of April 1 after suffering for about 20 hours, according to these reports.

His death ignited a storm of outrage in the West African state, where many people took to social media to report failures in the healthcare system.

The affair quickly gained political ground, with President Macky Sall sending a message of condolence to Sokhna’s family and ordering an investigation into the incident.

On April 14, Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr acknowledged that his death could have been prevented. The hospital director has since been fired and replaced.

Prosecutors at the trial, which began on April 27, had asked for a one-month prison sentence and 11-month suspension for four of the accused midwives, and recommended the release of the other two.

The three convicted midwives were on night duty while the other three released were on day duty.

Abou Abdou Daff, a lawyer for one of the three convicted midwives, said the reasons for his client’s conviction had not been adduced and an appeal was underway.

“The accused have denied and continue to deny” the allegations, Daff said. “A medical team has a duty to respond with what is available, not to provide the outcome.”