NEWS

Pregnant Refugee On Nauru To Be Finally Flown To Australia

Kuwaiti refugee's pregnancy complications said to be life-threatening.

03/02/2017 7:53 AM AEDT | Updated 03/02/2017 10:42 AM AEDT
Fairfax Media
The woman will reportedly be flown from Nauru to Australia for medical care

A heavily pregnant refugee with potentially life-threatening complications is to be flown to Australia for treatment on Friday, after a public campaign.

The woman, a 37-year-old refugee from Kuwait, is more than 36 weeks pregnant. Doctors have warned that her baby is in breech position, she has a fibroid or benign tumour in her uterus and appears to be suffering pre-eclampsia, and had begged for her to be evacuated to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

Doctors For Refugees president Dr Barri Phatarfod told The Huffington Post Australia earlier this week that the woman needed to be taken to Australia. Pre-eclampsia treatment "requires monitoring around the clock" with regular blood pressure and urine checks alongside CTG monitoring.

"We know that none of this happens in Nauru... there is an unacceptable delay to obtain even routine pathology results," Phatarfod said.

"Anyone in a situation where they are 36 weeks pregnant with high blood pressure should be treated as an urgent situation."

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection had initially resisted calls to take the woman to Australia, with department policy preferring women give birth on Nauru.

A previous evacuation to Australia led to protests when it was time for the woman and baby to return to Nauru, such as in the case of Baby Asha last February.

Late on Thursday night, Nauru's government said in a statement the woman would be taken to Australia.

"Within the last 30 minutes we have received confirmation from Australia that the patient will be airlifted and this is expected to happen tomorrow [Friday]," the statement read.

The government said "no request from Australia for transfer of the patient was received by Nauru" before this time.

"Nauru has no control over decisions by Australia on who to transfer."

As of publication time, there had been no official confirmation from the immigration department.

An earlier statement from Nauru said the island nation was equipped to deal with the woman's pregnancy and complications.

"There have been recent media reports of a pregnant refugee on Nauru requiring urgent treatment in Australia, however these claims are being made by people who are not on Nauru and not aware of the facts," the earlier statement read.

"Both mother and baby continue to be monitored by skilled and professional medical staff, who have extensive experience in the delivery of babies and pre and post-natal care. Our medical teams and specialists are available and prepared with patient care as our first priority. We will always recommend treatment in accordance with the best interest of the patient and will not hesitate to recommend a medical evacuation if the situation requires."

"Any information or claims to the contrary are incorrect."



ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA

More On This Topic