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Four-yr-old denied surgery, MP govt tells parents to wait till polls end

M Poornima, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, October 19, 2013
First Published: 11:29 IST(19/10/2013) | Last Updated: 14:28 IST(19/10/2013)

Model code of conduct put in place in the wake of ensuing assembly election has become a major obstacle in the surgery of a four-year-old thalassemia patient, Abhijeet Jain.

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Under secretary in chief minister’s secretariat Neeraj Vashistha, who had assured help to parents of the child in bone marrow transplant, has now told them that they should not expect any help from the government till December 12.

If Abhijeet’s bone marrow transplant surgery is not conducted till December 31, it won’t be effective because by that time he would be five years of age. Doctors prefer to carry out bone marrow transplant surgery among thalassemia patients till the age of five only because after that it’s not that effective.

Father of the child, Amit Jain said he made several calls to under secretary, Neeraj Vashishta as he had assured them earlier that financial help would be provided to his son for surgery but he didn’t pick up the call.

He said later when his wife made a call to Vashishta, luckily he picked up the call but said it won’t be possible to provide them any help till December 12.

“My wife reminded him that he promised her to provide financial aid for bone marrow transplant at CM House last month. But he said nothing can be done till elections ends and asked us to come after December 12”, said Amit.

HT tried to contact health minister, Narottam Mishra also in this regard but he didn’t receive the calls. When contacted, chief electoral officer (CEO), Jaideep Govind, said there was no restriction on providing financial aid to patients during the period when model code of conduct were in force.

Treatment of the patient should be a priority for everyone, he added. Four-year-old, Abhijeet is resident of Mandla and is in urgent need of bone marrow transplant.

Since he belongs to a very poor family, his parents are unable to mobilise Rs. 14, 00,000 required for the surgery. As he belongs to the below poverty line (BPL) category, his parents were trying to get financial assistance from the government but the officials are now refusing to help him by saying nothing can be done before the elections.

Chief medical and health officer (CMHO) of Mandla had submitted a proposal to principal secretary of health Praveer Krishn after MP Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) took cognizance of the matter on the basis of a HT story, “Govt’s pole vault leaves fourold blood less” published on September 27.

His father Amit, who runs a tea stall, visited several offices in Mandla and later came to CM House expecting some financial help but a faint hope raised by Vashistha’s assurance was also fading. He has even sold his house for his son’s treatment.

He is earning just Rs. 3,000 per month, which is not enough to get even medicines for his son. Till now, a sum of Rs. 8,00,000 has been spent by him on Abhijeet’s treatment in past four years. Amit said till now an amount of  Rs. 1, 80,000 has been collected through donations for the surgery.

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