Jalal and Saduri with their baby Saif.
Ashraf Padanna, Correspondent
Doctors at a southern Indian hospital have saved the life of a child from Pakistan whom the experts “pronounced dying.”
The two-year-old boy, identified by his maiden name Saif, was suffering from a rare and extremely severe genetic disease called severe combined immune deficiency.
The boy from Balochistan province reached Aster MIMS Hospital in the northern Kerala city of Kozhikode after initial treatment in the UAE.
MIMS or Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences is part of the Abu Dhabi-based healthcare conglomerate Aster DM, which is rapidly expanding its footprint in India.
The doctors who treated Saif said the medical experts had earlier feared that the baby was unlikely to survive as his condition was worsening.
They said they could give him a “new lease of life by performing a rare bone marrow transplant.” He had undergone treatments including chemotherapy before being shifted to Aster MIMS.
The baby, whose immune system had completely collapsed, was plagued by constant infections. Gradually the infection in the lungs worsened and the oxygen level dropped.
It is generally predicted that these infected babies will die within two to three years without the most appropriate treatment. Saif was also expecting a similar end.
Jalal was working in the UAE while his mother Saduri is a homemaker. India’s Junior Foreign Minister V Muraleedharan arranged their travel to the southern India state of Kerala.
His condition was so serious and was getting worse by the day that he had to be flown to Kerala with oxygen support.
The Aster-MIMS Kerala and Oman Cluster regional director Farhan Yasin said the group offers advanced tertiary care at affordable costs attracting a large number of patients.
“A lot of foreign patients are coming here seeking advanced medical care. We perform these expensive methods at the lowest possible cost,” he told Gulf Today. “We treat them at a dozen Aster hospitals in India. Moreover, we maintain the highest rate of treatment success in the country.”
Dr Kesavan, senior paediatric hemato-oncologist at Aster MIMS concluded that a bone marrow transplant is the only cure for his condition. Fortunately, he found the mother’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) was a perfect match with the baby. His other health issues were addressed with constant care and the bone marrow transplant was performed under high risk as a life-saving measure.