Monday, 2 May 2016

Australian Federal Election 2016: is there an ounce of humanity left in Liberal, Nationals and Labor politicians? *WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE*

Enough is enough. It’s time cease off-shore detention on Nauru as well as close the centre on Manus Island and face up to our collective responsibilities under international law.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 2016:

Pregnant asylum seekers detained on Nauru could be exposed to the Zika virus, with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirming there had been cases of the mosquito-borne disease on the island nation.

The revelation was made in the department's submission to the Senate inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekers at Australia's regional processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Detainees have been issued with heavy-duty insect repellent in order to fend off the virus, which has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly.

The Australian government's smartraveller website currently recommends women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is active.

"If you do decide to travel, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip," it says.

On Wednesday evening, Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice-president Stephen Parnis said pregnant asylum seekers on Nauru needed to be protected, assessed and "not exposed to any risk". He stopped short of saying whether the woman should be removed from the island.

The admission that Zika is present on Nauru comes in the same week senior doctors, including the AMA, raised grave concerns about the standard of medical care available to asylum seekers held in offshore detention, which they said would not be accepted in Australia.

In its submission, the department said "every precaution" was being taken to stop transferees contracting the Zika virus. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 2016:

The source said the man spoke to UNHCR representatives of "the intolerable mental and physical pressure on refugees and particularly on himself, who [is] imprisoned at Nauru."

UNHCR regional representative Thomas Albrecht said his organisation was concerned about the "grave mental state of asylum seekers and refugees" and urgent action was needed to prevent further suffering and address worsening mental health.

The UNHCR had been in Nauru since Sunday conducting a monitoring mission of arrangements for asylum seekers and refugees transferred from Australia.

A refugee advocate who is in close contact with those at Nauru said tensions were high after the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the Manus Island detention centre was illegal, opening up the prospect that detainees there could be released.

"People are thinking 'what about us'. They are feeling desperate," the advocate said, adding she believed the man had burns to 80 per cent of his body.

The incident follows a Nauruan court decision in February to convict and fine a refugee for attempted suicide in a move authorities said was designed to "stamp out the practice".

Dept. Immigration and Border Protection, media release, 29 April 2016:

A 23-year-old Iranian man who set himself on fire in Nauru has tragically died today from his injuries.

Appropriate support is being provided to his wife and friends.

The man was taken to Republic of Nauru Hospital for medical treatment by the Nauruan authorities. He was then transferred to Australia by air ambulance for medical treatment. The man passed away this afternoon in a Brisbane Hospital.

The Department expresses its sympathies to his wife, family and friends.

The death will be reported to the Queensland Coroner. No further comment will be made at this time.

Facebook:  Doctors4refugees, 29 April 2016

The death of Omid once again exposes the lie that people offshore have the same medical care as those in the Australian community.
We know that the Nauru hospital staff struggled with maintaining an adequate airway and had difficulties accessing an intravenous line. These are quite difficult to do in a severe burns victim and needs a specialised team immediately. Some parts of remote Australia may also not have this expertise but he would have been airlifted out to a tertiary hospital in a matter of hours.
When he got to Brisbane we 
[sic] was grossly oedematous (swollen) from the loss of vital proteins and had fluid leaking into his lungs, further impairing his breathing. Much of this was clearly compounded by the early lack of adequate oxygenation.
It is not an unusual complication; it’s entirely predictable in a person with this level of burns
This tragic outcome once again demonstrates the complete impracticality of accommodating these highly vulnerable people so far from Australia.

"Omid" set himself alight on 27 April, was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital sometime on 28 April – approximately 22 hours after self-harming. He died on 29 April 2016.

He appears to be the third asylum seeker who has died after setting themselves alight since June 2014 and the eighth offshore detainee who has died since August 2002.


ABC AM, 2 May 2016:

Shocking video and new details have emerged that raise questions about the standard of medical care given to the asylum seeker who set himself on fire on Nauru last week. Omid Masoumali died on Friday in a Brisbane hospital, two days after his injuries. His grieving wife Nana has told doctors on the mainland that while on Nauru, Omid was without a doctor's care for two hours at the medical facility and lay in agony a further eight hours before morphine was administered….
Omid Masoumali's body will be flown back to Iran.
His family have been asked to pay the $17,000 cost.

The Guardian, 3 May 2013

The young Somali woman who set herself alight on Nauru – the second refugee in a week to do so – has been taken to Australia by air ambulance, but her situation remains critical.
Hodan, 21, doused herself and set herself alight inside the OPC1 section of the detention centre on Nauru.
According to reports, she suffered severe burns to most of her body. One person reported “all of her clothes were burned off”.

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