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Death of 11 newborns: Prime Minister accepts resignation of Health Minister

Published the:  09/03/2019

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(TAP) - Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said he has accepted the resignation of Minister of Health Abderraouf Cherif, as he went on Saturday night to the Wassila Bourguiba Hospital in Tunis to follow up on the developments in the death of 11 newborns.

Chahed also announced the initiation of an administrative inquiry to find out the circumstances of this incident and vowed to hold accountable those who will be found guilty.

An official source told TAP the Minister of Health had handed in his resignation to the Prime Minister during the meeting held at the Government Palace in Kasbah earlier in the evening to follow up on this issue.

Eleven newborn deaths were reported on March 7 and 8 at Rabta hospital, Tunis, the Health Ministry had announced in a press release on Saturday.

Preliminary findings by a crisis unit of the Ministry of Health revealed that the death of eleven newborns at the Maternity and Neonatology Centre in the Rabta Hospital are "likely caused by septic shock resulting from blood infections."

The prosecutor's office, on Saturday, ordered the opening of a judicial investigation after the death of the newborns, spokesperson for the Court of First Instance of Tunis Sofiene Sliti told TAP.

He stated that the investigating judge went to the scene accompanied by the representative of the public prosecutor to determine the circumstances of the events.

"All the details on the facts will be communicated to the public soon,” he pointed.