A mother delivered inside a taxi outside Garissa Referral hospital on Wednesday morning as she could not hold on to get to a private facility.
Mrs Zahra Ali is said to have got into labour pains on Tuesday night at around 11pm and was immediately rushed to the facility but there were no nurses on duty to attend to her.
Her husband, Mohamed Noor, said that he decided to take her to a private hospital but she delivered right outside the facility’s gate in a taxi before they could seek help elsewhere.
“I was left helpless when her labour pains increased and there was nothing I could do apart from supporting her to deliver but thank God she delivered safely” said Mr Noor.
A spot check at facility revealed that a normally packed male ward was empty after relatives decided to take their patients to private health facilities while at the maternity wing, helpless mothers lay on the beds unattended to, at one point journalists had to assist mother to breastfeed her baby.
According to one of the interns who declined to be identified since he is not allowed to speak to the media, there were 31 clinical officers on internship who were left to attend to patients after nurses at the facility joined their colleagues in a nationwide strike.
The interns were equally not tied as they could not attend to patients in need of serious medical attention. All they could do was assist stable patients with oral medication.
In the paediatric ward, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi was the only one remaining with his one and half-year-old son who was diagnosed with an infection.
He said all other patients in the ward were discharged after nurses failed to attend to them adding that he was the only one remaining since clinical officers were still attending to his son.
“All these beds were full but all of them left when nurses failed to attend to them, I have remained because blood was being transfused to my son by available clinical interns,” he said.