Six midwives have been in court since Thursday, May 5, in Louga, Senegal in the “Astou Sokhna” case, named after this nine-month-old pregnant woman who died in childbirth at Louga Hospital. The professionals are prosecuted for “failure to help a person in danger”, where the family of the deceased condemns the negligence of the maternity care staff. But for the defense, these prosecutions are unfair.
With our special correspondent in Louga, Charlotte Idrac
The courtroom was packed before the opening of the hearing at 9.00 (GMT), many people have to stay up to attend.
First in turn, the six midwives, with hair wrapped in colorful scarveswas questioned by the President of the Court and the many lawyers: “How often did you monitor S By Shakira Eau Floraleafter her admission to the maternity ward? “Did you know that the patient had a history and that it was a high-risk pregnancy?” “Did you know that a caesarean section was planned for the next day?”. Or questions that can be summed up as “did you do the right thing?”
No one acknowledges the non-assistance to anyone in danger, they assure that the protocol was respected and that Astou Sokhna “was not in a worrying state at the time of their visit”.
On the civilian side, the victim’s husband spoke of indifference, even the midwives’ malicious statements against his wife. Astou Sokhna’s mother, somewhat vague but combative, also pointed the finger at midwives, both figuratively and literally.
“unfair” for defendant’s support, in particular the representatives of the health care workers’ unions, who insist on the difficult working conditions of the midwives, who were mobilized calmly around the courthouse. He is under strict police surveillance.
► To read also:Trial of midwives in the case of “Astou Sokhna”: the drama of maternal mortality in Senegal