Activists call to fast-track sick cell treatment
Manama, February 3, 2014
Activists are demanding health officials fast-track life-saving treatment of sickle cell patients after a fifth death this year was registered in Bahrain.
Bahraini Mohammed Hassan Makki was admitted to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) two weeks ago, but died of complications on February 2, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients Care Society secretary Mohammed Moosa claimed the 38-year-old's health condition deteriorated three days ago, but was not taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to lack of beds.
"He wasn't transferred to the ICU as there were not enough beds," he told the GDN.
"Unfortunately, he died because of severe pain and no one took him to the ICU.
"His wife is in deep shock while his five-year-old son is too young to know what happened to his father.
"We want SMC authorities to save the lives of sickle cell patients by providing them better and faster treatment.
"We spoke to the Health Minister several times about this issue, but he's been promising without taking any action to help us."
Makki was buried in Salhiya cemetery yesterday, making it the second sickle cell death in just three days.
Thirteen-year-old Hisham Al Saffar died last Thursday due to alleged negligence, said Moosa.
"He was in SMC's Accident and Emergency Department for six hours on Wednesday, but doctors didn't transfer him to the ICU," he added.
"He was crying and shouting in pain, but was still kept in emergency department.
"The teenager asked his father to take him home so he can rest.
"When they went to wake him up in the morning, thinking he was asleep in his room, he was dead.
"We lost five people this year and it's just the beginning of a New Year.
"We need good treatment for such patients, and doctors treating them according to the severity of the sickness."
Twenty-eight sickle cell anaemia patients died in Bahrain last year, according to Health Ministry figures.
The GDN reported earlier that His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa ordered a re-examination of the ministry's procedures related to such patients with a view to devise better systems to ensure they get proper care. - TradeArabia News Service