Kids at Cong door for blood

October 30, 2009

Courtesy by:

Ten-year-old Ansila Abdul Aziz, a patient with thalassaemia from a village near Calicut in Kerala, was at the Congress headquarters today knocking on the corridors of power in Delhi to seek better medical treatment at home.

The Congress headquarters here had an unusual group of visitors today — about 30 children with chronic blood disorders and their parents and grandparents from the Malabar, seeking central intervention after years of agitation in vain in their state.

“Our children are suffering from thalassemia, haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, and the medical college and hospital in our area (Calicut) does not have the right facilities for diagnosis or even treatment,” said Kareem Karassery, general convenor of the Blood Patients’ Protection Council from Mukkam, Calicut. Karassery lost his son to thalassemia two years ago.

A senior Congress official said he had never seen so many children throng the party headquarters. Some squatted on steel chairs, some played on the lawns, others looked on with quizzical eyes — while their parents pleaded for their future.

The council submitted a charter of demands at the Congress headquarters, seeking action from health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. It wants a haematology department with specialists and infrastructure for the treatment of chronic blood disorders at the Calicut medical college hospital.

“Right now, patients have to travel all the way to the Christian Medical College, Vellore, for haematology services,” Karassery said.

The charter also seeks steps to prevent genetic blood disorders.

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