An asylum seeker and her baby flown to Brisbane hospital after emergency caesarean
AN ASYLUM-seeker suffering from a potentially deadly pregnancy disorder was left for more than three months on Nauru before an emergency caesarean birth this week.
It is understood that as early as five months, Somalian woman Naima Ahmed, 22, had signs of pre-eclampsia, a serious blood-pressure disorder that, if left untreated, can be fatal to both mother and baby.
Ms Ahmed suffered a serious pre-eclamptic fit on Thursday morning before being taken to a local hospital for an emergency caesarean birth. She was then flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition.
Her son was born at 32 weeks but is understood to be in a stable condition.
Refugee advocate Ian Rintoul told The Courier-Mail health authorities contracted to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection had known about Ms Ahmed’s deteriorating condition for months, but chose not to act.
“From about five months she had problems – she was very swollen and had blood pressure issues that put her life, and her baby’s life, at serious risk,” Mr Rintoul said.
Nauru has one hospital that’s prepared to accept asylum-seekers with “routine health problems” but for serious conditions, patients are referred to offshore health units.
Doctors For Refugees co-founder Dr Barri Phatarfod said any woman diagnosed with pre-eclampsia should be immediately admitted to hospital for monitoring.
Ms Ahmed’s husband, Abdusalem Hersi, remains “extremely distraught” on Nauru but may be brought to Australia in coming days.
An government spokesman told The Courier-Mail Minister Peter Dutton “was not made aware of this individual’s health matters” and did not make any decisions about her healthcare during her time on Nauru.
But Dr Phatarfod said there was “no way” the department had not been informed of Ms Ahmed’s condition.
“I would be very surprised if he wasn’t made aware of her case, but it shows the department is completely ignorant of what is happening in their own medical administrations,” Dr Phatarfod said.
Mr Rintoul said the department was aware of the problems of dealing with difficult pregnancies but had “embarked on a dangerous policy of insisting that women give birth on Nauru”.