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Wajir ambulance carrying patient on oxygen support stuck in mud for three days, but officials deny the claim



WAJIR—Heavy downpour experienced in Wajir, Marsabit, and Mandera counties has wreaked havoc, rendering some roads impassable due to sticky mud and flash floods.

On Thursday, March 23, impassable roads left drivers and passengers, including an ambulance ferrying a patient in critical condition trapped for hours along Takaba-Moyale road.

The waters from the Ethiopian highlands found their way into the rifts on the lower Kenyan side. The waters blocked roads, displaced families and killed livestock.

Speaking to the press, Ali Abdirahman, an anesthetics and critical patient doctor who was in the ambulance, said the situation was dire, and they were kept waiting for hours.

According to him, the distance of a stretch of 155km, which on a normal day is said to take roughly four to five hours, had to be covered in two days.

Ali said they had encountered a drift at Adajolle in Bute, Wajir county at around 12:30 pm on Thursday while on transit to the hospital and had to make a stopover for two hours to wait for the running water to reduce.

“As a medic, this is quite stressful, especially if you have a patient who needs prompt attention,” Ali said.

Patient on oxygen

According to him, the situation was dire and inhumane, and they had already used three oxygen cylinders to keep the patient alive as they were enroute to Nairobi for treatment.

However, Wajir County has distanced itself from the situation, saying no patient in distress was on the refferal list

“Our attention had been drawn to a story claiming a patient on an ambulance ferrying a patient on oxygen got stuck. We wish to clarify that it’s not part of our fleet. As a department we fully distance ourselves from the above mentioned ambulance,” Maash Billow, the County Emergency Response and Referral Coordinator, told Kulan Post in a statement.

“As claimed on 23rd, our ambulance in Bute was just stationed in its ordinary station and no refferal was made on that date from the main office.

“The alleged vehicle doesn’t carry the registration of Wajir County. According to the facility data, no patient that requires an oxygen was referred on that day for a specialized care,” he added.

According to the residents, the rain was the heaviest they had ever experienced in the area.

Its effect was catastrophic as it had cut the bridge separating two villages where some residents were dying of hunger, and the officers in charge of food donation could not navigate to reach them.

“It’s a sorry situation for the residents and the commuters here and its about time the government takes this situation seriously,” Ali said.

[Additional reports by the K24]


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