Send Hasina abroad for medical treatment | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2008


Send Hasina abroad for medical treatment

Further delay could do irreparable damage to her health

OVER the last two months, the question of whether Sheikh Hasina's health conditions, especially her hearing problem, are treatable at home or these required specialist care abroad has been a subject-matter of verbal duel between the top physicians of the country and the jail authority.
In all that time, medical specialists examined her thoroughly and recommended, both individually and collectively, for her urgent treatment abroad. This was necessitated in her complicated state of multiple ailments with her fast diminishing hearing capability owing to lack of adjustment of her hearing aid installed through software available in a Florida hospital. It was there that she was treated in the wake of the damage to her ears wreaked by the August 21 bomb blast. Readjustment of her hearing aid does not brook any delay if she is not to turn stone deaf.
The authorities for their part vacillated and oscillated in regard to where to treat an ailing former prime minister in their custody, something that devolves a special responsibility on the government for her wellbeing. At first they insisted on her treatment locally but when it came to Hasina's own desire to stay back at Square hospital where she had been taken for a medical check-up, security reasons were cited for whisking her back to the sub-jail an hour later. But now she is in Square hospital with a panel of seven doctors unanimously concluding: there is no alternative to sending her abroad if she is to avoid 'permanently impaired hearing'.
We think that stalling and waffling on something that requires decisive action are extremely inadvisable for a government. That it would have been wiser for Abdul Jalil to have been sent earlier to Singapore must be dawning on many now in the knowledge that his condition has 'deteriorated'. Even emergency procedures need some lead time to be applied successfully. Ultimately, the government might be sending Sheikh Hasina to the USA for treatment. But that must be done before it is too late.

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