The death of a pregnant Algerian Doctor from the Coronavirus pandemic after she was denied maternity leave has sparked an uproar and prompted the dismissal of a Hospital Director.
A source close to the case told AFP that Algeria Health Minister, Abderrahman Benbouzid sacked the Director of the Ras El Oued Hospital in eastern Algeria after Dr Wafa Boudissa succumbed to Coronavirus,
The 28-year-old Doctor was eight months pregnant and worked at the IC Surgery Unit of the Hospital when she died on Friday, May 15, 2020.
She had asked the Hospital Chief, who was not named, for early maternity leave, but he refused to let her take any time off.
It was reported that Colleagues of the victim had backed her request and signed a petition in solidarit.
The Health Minister, on Saturday, May 15, 2020, ordered an investigation into the death of Dr Boudissa and, in an unprecedented move, tasked the Inspector General of the Health Ministry to head the probe.
The source close to the case said anyone found directly responsible for her death could face trial for negligent homicide.
AFP reports that State television broadcast footage showing Health Minister Benbouzid visiting the hospital and then Dr Boudissa’s family home to offer his condolences.
In the footage, the Health Minister said he could not comprehend why a pregnant woman was forced to work, while Boudissa’s co-workers denounced those behind her death.
A presidential decree released at the onset of the novel Coronavirus pandemic had stated that pregnant women and those raising children were among individuals allowed to take exceptional leave from work.
According to officially declared figures, Algeria has registered 6,821 cases of Coronavirus, including 542 deaths, since February 2020.