27 Jan 2018

Sick refugee baby on Nauru needs medical evacuation - advocate

7:07 pm on 27 January 2018

There is a call for the medical evacuation of a two-week old baby boy from Nauru, born to Iranian refugees detained there by Australia.

The refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said the baby has an infected umbilicus, but was not given antibiotics by staff at Nauru hospital on Thursday as they said he was too young.

Mr Rintoul said the infection became so severe by Thursday night that the baby's feet were swollen and bleeding.

He said the baby was taken back to hospital where there were six failed attempts to insert an intravenous drip.

Mr Rintoul said the baby's temperature was not checked regularly overnight and antibiotics not administered until mid-day Friday.

He said the baby's treatment was another example of medical negligence on Nauru that would not have happened in Australia where his parents sought asylum.

"There is a very real risk of septicaemia in such situations and Nauru is a long way from life-saving medical intervention. Monitoring the baby's temperature is an elementary measure of the scale of the infection," he said

"The safest measure is to arrange the baby's medical evacuation. The fate of this baby's life, like the lives of so many others on Nauru, rests with Border Force and Minister Dutton. In scores of cases, they have ignored doctors' recommendations for medical treatment.

"That can't be allowed to happen. Bring the baby and his family to Australia. "