“I express deep compassion to their mothers and their families,” he added.
In a statement later Thursday, the country’s health ministry said an emergency response plan had been developed and “measures were being taken to assist the families of the victims.”
The ministry statement added that Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who is attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, cut short his trip and will return to Senegal today.
President Sall has asked for an investigation to find out the cause of the fire at the hospital, Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diom told reporters during an overnight visit to the hospital on Wednesday.
“In addition, he (President Sall) asked us to review all the equipment and infrastructure for newborns who need help with care machines,” Diom said.
“We are going to do it here in Tivaouan and in all the hospitals in Senegal where there is a neonatal service,” he added.
Senegal’s minister for regional planning and local government, Cheikh Bamba Diye, called the fatal incident “appalling and unacceptable”, calling for an investigation into the country’s health systems.