Nurse’s Strike Takes The Life Of Young Mother’s Child At Garki Hospital, Abuja

the entrance to the Emergency Pediatric Unit
the entrance to the Emergency Pediatric Unit

The night of Saturday December 13, 2014 at the Garki Hospital saw a young nursing mother in agony and in tears wailing in extreme exhaustion – in her arms her newborn infant battling for life. Two other young men who accompanied the young mother held an oxygen tank and a ‘drip’ [IV] bag, both connected to the infant. Her child died in the lobby. She could not get medical treatment from the facility.

The young mother had arrived the Garki Hospital – her primary care provider – on the late evening of Saturday seeking medical assistance for her newborn. One of the nursing staff of Garki Hospital who was among the nursing staff at the Emergency Pediatric Unit [EPU] on Saturday night told of the tragic incidence. The nurse blamed the nationwide nursing strike – that had virtually shutdown all national medical facilities in the Nation – as the cause.

According to the nurse, the young mother had arrived the emergency area of the pediatric unit to be attended to by the medical team. As she entered the EPU treatment room, a cursory examination was performed by medical students – who quickly told the young mother that the facility would not be able to offer her child the treatment she was seeking for. She was immediately turned away. The medical students who were in charge of the emergency pediatric unit told the young mother that the facility was filled to brim – that their were no beds available. She was directed to another unnamed medical facility within the Abuja metropolis. In uncontrollable tears, in the company of the two young men carrying her baby’s oxygen tank and IV line, she left immediately.


Within forty [40] minutes of departure from the EPU, she returned. This time with hysteria. With her eyes swollen and her movement more erratic, she ran back into the EPU pleading for help. She pleaded with the medical student doctors for help. They refused. The students told her to go away and stop making noise. This was as the young lady fell to her knees with her lifeless baby – pleading medical attention be given to her child. Responding, the head medical student doctor in charge ordered that the young mother leave the room. She obeyed and left.

As she moved over to the waiting area of the EPU near the Dialysis center, the medical doctor students quickly slammed the door behind her – telling her to go to another medical facility. “Please help me, my baby is dying, my baby is dying. My world is ending. Please in the name of God, I beg you Doctor, I beg you.” She cried loudly while seated at the waiting room.   She explained that she had been a regular patient at Garki Hospital, “I have a file here“. She continued that “all the government hospitals are all closed, I have no other place to go, my child is dying. I will pay, please doctor, please“.

But her cries fell on deaf ears, until she turned attention to God. Her pleas had turned away from the student doctors to God, and her tone had changed, indicating something tragic unfolding. Suddenly, a fair skinned lady nurse ran out from an unknown location towards the young mother – garbing the child – and storming into the EPU treatment area. As she attempted to help the child, the child gave up. The child died. The child’s eye was half open.

The mother was then escorted out of the hospital.

The young mother’s child becomes one of the many faceless victims of the ongoing nurse’s strike action that has shut down all state and nationally owned medical facilities.





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