MICKHELA ALEXANDER (NYLO INTERN)
Despite the Children’s Life Fund Authority’s (CFLA) denial of funding for Haleema Mohammed’s bone marrow transplant, her parents are continuing with their fund-raising efforts to ensure that her surgery takes place on September 4.
Haleema’s mother Kristal Mohammed reiterated yesterday her five-year-old daughter had been suffering for too long and needed the surgery to take place as soon as possible.
When questioned about the possibility of further legal action, Kristal said, “We will not press for this matter to go further in court as yet because that will just delay the process and Haleema will have to miss her appointment and wait for a later date which we don’t want.”
Haleema was diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major, a blood disorder, since she was 18 months old.
Her ailment requires her to visit the hospital three to four times monthly for blood transfusions. To ease her ailment, Haleema’s parents sent an application to the CLFA on July 28 requesting assistance with the cost of the $400,000 procedure to be done in India.
The family lives at Mohess Road, Penal, and Haleema has two siblings. The family insisted they do not have the finances to fund Haleema’s bone marrow transplant and her subsequent stay there to facilitate her recovery.
Attorney Gerald Ramdeen petitioned the San Fernando High Court to force the CLFA to treat Haleema’s case with a greater degree of urgency. The CLFA in response to Ramdeen, issued a letter on Wednesday stating they had rejected the application on the basis that Haleema’s application “contains little evidence of a definitive diagnosis of Beta Thalassemia Major…”
It added: “…and furthermore, it appears that the requisite testing for the donor has not been carried out, both of which may be required before the course of treatment can be appropriately selected. Thalassemia is not a life-threatening illness as required by section 19(e) of the Act.”
The board indicated that Haleema’s case would be referred to the external patient programme unit of the Ministry of Health for their attention and consideration of assistance with funding.